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Procurement reform initiatives in BD gets new dimension with e-GP

By UNB, DHAKA
08th-Jul-2014       
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Procurement reform initiatives in Bangladesh have taken a new dimension with the rapid expansion in the use of electronic Government Procurement (e-GP) in four key government agencies as the number of electronic bid invitations grew to over 8,000 in May 2014 from only 14 in June 2012.
Similarly, the number of registered bidders for e-GP grew to 8,900 in May 2014 from only 294 in June 2012.
The four key government agencies are Roads and Highways Department (RHD); Local Government Engineering Department (LGED); Bangladesh Rural Electrification Board (BREB); and Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB), said a World Bank press release.
These four agencies, together accounting for a major portion of government procurement, have also rolled out on-line procurement performance monitoring.
The electronic procurement with online monitoring is making public contracting more accessible, secure, efficient and transparent, leading to a reduction in coercive bidding at decentralized levels.  The World Bank is supporting the Government through the Public Procurement Reform Project II (PPRPII) in implementing e-GP in the country for improved procurement outcomes, starting with the key procuring agencies.
Under a comprehensive capacity development program, key initiatives include certification of national trainers; three-week procurement training for 24 agencies; 17 types of short courses covering 10,000 participants; and international procurement accreditation and Masters Course.
As of now, 39 national trainers have been developed; 2200 officials from the four key agencies received the three-week training; about 400 officials of 20 additional agencies also received training; and 35 received international procurement accreditation including Masters in procurement, with another 47 continuing.
As part of the demand for good governance, the public-private stakeholders committee (PPSC), with leading think-tank organizations' members, is putting in place a third party monitoring mechanism in public procurement to demystify procurement at the grass-root level.
The release said that a World Bank team recently reviewed the status of PPRPII and noted the Government's commitment to pursuing these challenging reform initiatives, contributing to improving transparency and competitiveness of the public procurement system.
The World Bank team highlighted the need for strengthening the Central Procurement Technical Unit with continuity of skilled staff and enhancing efforts for further expansion of e-GP.

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