RTICLE ON THE CONTRACTOR’S REGISTRATION AND CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM (eCRCS) FOR ROAD CONTRACTORS TO BE PUBLISHED IN “THE ENGINEER” JOURNAL
By Eng. Samson Bagonza
Director of Engineering and Engineer in Chief
Ministry of Works and Transport
The Ministry of Works and Transport with the assistance from the UK Department for International Development (DFID) engaged M/s Price Water House Coopers (PwC) to develop an online contractors’ registration and classification system (eCRCS) for road contractors.
Once completed, this classified register will be accredited by PPDA as the ONLY PREQUALIFIED LIST for road contractors that will be eligible to participate in public procurement of road contracts.
1.1 Why is it required?
Contractor’s registration and classification system helps to level the playing field in the construction industry by assuring that all road contractors with the same strengths are put in the same classes. Further, the register gives assurance that the registered companies have the necessary experience and resource to engage in road construction and maintenance works.
1.2 Functional operation for the e-CRCS
The system is web-based, therefore it is accessed online and allows road contractors to input their data in a secure, effective and efficient manner. Access to the system can be granted either via the Web or through a Mobile Application. The system will be available all the time and accessible from different physical locations without any impact on the response times.
Types, Categories and Classes of Contractors
The system defines the types of contractors, categories of contractors, and classes of ccontractors as described below;
There are two types of road contractors namely Local and Foreign.
- A local contractor is either a national provider or a resident provider. According to the PPDA Guideline 1/2018 dated 15 February 2018, a national provider means a provider registered in Uganda and wholly owned and controlled by Ugandans. A resident provider means a provider incorporated in Uganda for at least two years at the time of submission of the bid, and is not a national provider. Local contractors who qualify for a certain class, shall automatically qualify to be awarded work in that class and the immediate lower class.
- Foreign provider means a provider not incorporated in Uganda. Registration of Foreign contractors is restricted to Classes A only.
There are three categories of contractors namely;
- Road works,
- Bridge & Drainage Structures
- Specialist Road Works (road marking and road furniture).
Presently the eCRCS has the following classes;
- Five (5) classes A-E for category 1 (Road Works);
- Four classes (A-D) for category 2 (Bridges & Drainage Structures); and
- No class for Specialized Road Works
1.3 Criteria for registration and classification of road contractors
All firms will have to meet certain minimum criteria. The criterion includes the following:
- Eligibility Assessment
Applicants will be expected to submit a duly completed application form together with documentary evidence of eligibility comprising certified copies of:
- Certificate of Iincorporation;
- ii)Latest annual returns filed with URBS;
- iii)Trading Llicense for the current year;
- iv)Memorandum and Aarticles of Association;
- v)Tax clearance certificate;
- vi)Powers of Attorney;
- vii)National identification card and /or passports for the authorized representative and directors, as well as the majority shareholders; and
- viii) Requirements for being a national or resident provider – not a foreign contractor for purposes of the initial registration.
- Technical Evaluation
- A detailed assessment of the firm’s minimum financial capacity, key staff,
plant and equipment capacity, experience and physical premises will be assessed.
ii) The firms will be required to submit documentary evidence to support the information which it provides.
iii) The classification will denote the capacity and capability of the firms, indicate the sizes of projects that contractors in the various categories can tender for.
iv) The registration will be valid for three years, but may be extended on request by the firm and upon fulfillment of the attached criteria.
v) A company can apply for the upgrading of its classification. The MoWT will undertake periodic monitoring of the firms on their books. Following such an assessment a company may be downgraded, have its registration suspended, or de-registered.
1.4 Why is this classification required and how it leads to a sustainable construction business.
1.4.1 Classification of contractors is required for the following purposes:
- To ensure that contractors with different levels of establishment, experience and capabilities are classified in different classes and compete for work among equals;
- To increase on chances for contractors to access work through open tenders but also easing selection of contractors for restricted tenders and direct procurements. This will improve work continuity among contractors;
- To ensure that work is awarded to experienced contractors, with qualified staff and necessary equipment, who will execute good quality work in time;
- To ensure that foreign companies are registered as contractors, when they have demonstrated that they indeed possess capacity and experience far beyond that of our local and resident contractors;
- To weed out companies that are not capable of managing construction projects to the satisfaction of their clients; and
- To provide an up-to-date database of contractors, which is vital for planning, developing and regulating the construction industry.
1.4.2 The Registration and Classification System leads to sustainable construction business on account that it introduces order in the business as follows:
- A firm must meet minimum criteria to qualify as a contractor;
- Registration is renewable every three (3) years, with a provision to upgrade, be downgraded and be deregistered. This will inculcate discipline among registered contractors;
- Firms will strive to exhibit good performance, incidences of shoddy work and time overruns will reduce;
- Briefcase companies will be eliminated; and
- Genuine foreign companies will be allowed to operate in the construction industry, without direct competition with local contractors.
1.5 Benefits of registration
Benefits of registration will be regulatory and others developmental in nature.
- Companies which will be undertaking road construction projects must have the necessary professional capability;
- The database on registered contractors will give a good indication of the capacity of the country’s construction industry. Thus, it serves as a source of information for planning for both the construction industry and the overall economy; and
- A well monitored contractor registration system will also provide a good base of information for managing the development and improvement of the construction industry as it indicates the number of firms, their size and geographical distribution, and their resources and experience.
We would like to appeal to contractors to embrace the registration and classification system for contractors. Development of this system is a mandate of the Ministry, much as the Ministry no longer has much work to let out.
Once the system is developed, it will be accredited by PPDA and thereafter the register will be used as the prequalification register of contractors for all relevant MDAs.
In future, registration and classification of contractors will be a requirement of the Construction Industry Regulation law. It will be expanded to register all contractors i.e. building contractors, civil engineering contractors, electrical contractors, electro-mechanical contractors etc.
Therefore, when the Ministry advertises for applications to register, please participate or else you risk to be left out.
Finally, we would like to advise contractors that your business is a calling to contribute towards construction and maintenance of high quality infrastructure in this Country. Contractors who construct high quality infrastructure and manage construction contracts properly excel in business. Those who believe in short cuts, contractual arguments/threats or making money through shoddy work do not last long. Poor performing contractors will be victims of the registration and classification system. They will have no place in the construction industry.