e-Procurement in Kenya – Get started with an IFMIS Number
IFMIS provides the ability to digitally accept bid responses and in doing so, accelerate the adoption of e-procurement by public entities
If you’ve worked with the Government before, then you must be aware of IFMIS e-procurement. For those not in the loop, IFMIS stands for Integrated Financial Management Information System. It is an automated system that is widely used for public financial management.
The IFMIS system was first launched in Kenya in 2003 and then later on 28th February 2011, the then Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Uhuru Kenyatta launched the IFMIS Re-engineering Strategic Plan (2011-2013).
In line with the Public Financial Management Act 2012 (Article 12), the re-engineered IFMIS has been implemented to connect all government ministries, agencies and departments to a core network for purposes of effecting a single public financial management system.
The system was deployed in response to the increased demands for greater transparency and accountability in the management of public finances. IFMIS is designed to improve systems for financial data recording, tracking and information management. It does this through interlinking the planning, budgeting, expenditure management and control, accounting audit and reporting departments.
Do Public Procuring Entities actually use IFMIS to procure?
With the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, the number of public entities using IFMIS e-procurement for digital submissions has increased. Progressive county governments such as Makueni and Kilifi have led in using this approach for most of their tenders, as shown below:
Open Tender Negotiation No 830968 – CONSTRUCTION OF KYALUMA BOREHOLE WATER PROJECT by Makueni County (https://makueni.go.ke/download/construction-of-kyaluma-borehole-water-project/)
Here’s another one from the County Government of Kilifi that provides both the Tender Negotiation Number together with the Tender Reference Number:
Tender Ref No KCG/TRD/721423/2018/2019 – PROPOSED CONSTRUCTION OF BAMBA MARKET by Kilifi County
Or they could simply have requested that your Quotation/Proposal to have your business IFMIS Number, included such as this one:
IFMIS for Kenya Government Suppliers
With the drive towards the adoption of e-procurement within the GoK, we’re sure you’ve come across the increasing number of tender notices that give reference to ‘IFMIS Negotiation’ numbers.
This is an indication that the procuring entity undertakes the Procure-to-Pay process through the IFMIS e-procurement platform. Therefore, if you are interested in submitting a bid response to any of the tenders in question, you are required to have signed up on IFMIS.
You can register on IFMIS as a supplier for a company or as an individual. All you will be required to do is to present documents for whichever entity you are registering for as follows:
- The KRA Pin for the business/individual
- Business/Company registration number
- Preferred Email Address (Company/Personal)
- Names of the Contact person
- Official Phone Number of the Contact person
Here is the official communication on how to get registered on IFMIS plus some additional self-service steps:
Once registered, you will be able to access the Kenya Supplier Portal section within IFMIS. The Kenya Supplier Portal is specifically designed to allow businesses that want to work with the government to do the following:
- Self-register online and get assigned an IFMIS Number for your business. This number is extremely important to most of the future business interactions you’ll have with GoK.
- Get access to participate in tenders either in the tendering stage only or through the entire e-procurement process. This is dependent on the procuring entity and how they have structured their procurement process.
- Keep track of the progress of tender/bid submissions throughout the tender evaluation lifecycle.
- Receive direct communication from the government when it’s relevant to your business and the public entities that you work with.
- Follow up on the status and progress of payments from the government
The opportunity for e-Procurement
Our solution, Scale, provides you with tools for managing all your tendering activities in one place. And nothing will make us happier than to see wider adoption of e-procurement tech by public procuring entities. IFMIS provides the ability to digitally accept bid responses and in doing so, accelerate the adoption of e-procurement by public entities.
We know many would be averse to the accountability, transparency, predictability and transparency that this will bring…but we remain hopeful. Our team is optimistic that in the future, IFMIS will be re-engineered to allow for 3rd party platforms to integrate. This will allow for richer solutions for businesses such as submission of tenders prepared & exported from Scale directly into IFMIS.
If the government is starting to actively accept digital submission of bids, then why should suppliers continue preparing their bids offline?
This is part of the problem that Scale solves for suppliers to the government. Our platform gives you the tools to digitally prepare your proposals and tender responses online.
This means you get to keep a secure digital record of all your bid submissions for future reference. It also works perfectly even with the current submission of physical/printed of tenders!
We know the government’s e-procurement tools come full circle and start accepting direct digital submissions. And when that happens, we’ll definitely be the first to integrate and make the experience seamless for you. How delightful will that be!
Bonus Info: Here’s what the law says about e-Tendering
For now, here are hundreds of tenders that are available for you to apply from both the Government and the Private sector. Best of luck!