Institutional Factors and Procurement Performance at National Youth Service’s Headquaters in Nairobi, Kenya
Wanjiru, Gilbert Njogu
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Public procurement plays a leading role in the attainment of political, economic and social goals of a country through provision of goods, works and services. However, material quality defects, compromised order cycle time, lead time and poor contract management among others, are rampant. For instance, The NYS lost over Kshs 791milion in 2015 and Kshs 10.5 Billion in 2018 fraudulent procurement deals. This pilferage could be partly attributed to institutional factors. Despite this being the case in majority of public institutions, few studies have been done to ascertain the influence institutional factors have on the procurement processes of public organizations in Kenya in the context of the National Youth Service. Specifically, the research attempted to establish the influence of organizational culture, employee professional and competence and internal controls on public procurement performance in public institutions. To achieve its objective, the current study adopted a descriptive research design using quantitative approach on targeted 60 procurement staff that were sampled through a census technique. A closed-ended questionnaire was used to collect primary data using drop and pick tactic. The data was analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics (SPSS version 21). The findings were expressed in frequencies and percentages presented thematically in tables and figures. The study established that employees shared behaviors but never shared ideas, attitudes, values, habits, beliefs, customs, language, rituals and practices. In terms of employee competence, it was established that staff did not possess relevant procurement functionality skills, there was no cross-function teamwork among staff and there lacked high level of integrity among employees. Also, there was no confidentiality of classified matters, no will to avoid conflict of interest and personnel lacked adequate procurement knowledge and experience in procurement processes respectively. In regard to internal control systems, it was established that there was no authorization, verifications, reconciliations, reviews of operating performance and security of assets as well as definition of segregation of duties. Accordingly, the study recommends inhouse training and couching be promoted to cultivate stated organization culture such as behaviour, ideas, attitudes, values, habits, beliefs, customs and language among employees. Also, recommended is regular training and seminars be promoted and encouraged so as to equip staff with relevant procurement functionality skills, cross-function teamwork, integrity, confidentiality of classified matters, to avoid conflict of interest, required procurement knowledge, adequate experience in procurement processes and upholding of professional ethics. Further, the study recommends enforcing of internal control mechanisms to improve authorization, verifications, reconciliations, reviews of operating performance, security of assets and definition of segregation of duties.