DHAKA, Jan 9, 2018 (BSS) - The electronic government procurement (e-GP) till date witnessed an exponential growth since its introduction in 2011 to conduct public procurement online as about 80 percent of country's total public procurement up to the value of Taka 100 crore have come under e-GP till December 2017.
"The reason behind such a growth is accepted by private sector tenderers and government procuring entities because they wanted a system in tendering process which will be free from any physical obstruction, influence and hassles," said Md Faruque Hossain, Director General of Central Procurement Technical Unit (CPTU) of Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Division (IMED) under the Ministry of Planning.
While talking to the BSS, he said: "The e-GP success has earned accolade at home and abroad. Bangladesh is in a leading position in e-GP implementation in South Asia and beyond."
The CPTU introduced e-GP in 2011 in order to conduct public procurement more efficiently with enhanced transparency and accountability.
Upon inauguration of the e-GP portal hosted at www.eprocure.gov.bd by the Prime Minister on June 2, 2011, tender through online was first invited on August 23, 2011. On January 25, 2011 e-GP Guidelines was issued in line with the Public Procurement Act-2006 and Public Procurement Rules-2008.
Operationalization of procurement law, rules, e-GP Guidelines and capacity building of procuring entities and tenderers are the major agenda of a series of reforms implemented by CPTU with the support of World Bank under the Public Procurement Reform Project.
The reforms in public procurement started from 2002 with the establishment of CPTU as a nodal office to regulate and monitor compliance with the law and rules.
The e-GP system was rolled out in 2012 to four large agencies such as Local Government Engineering Department (LGED), Bangladesh Rural Electrification Board (BREB), Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) and Roads and Highways Department (RHD).
The agencies have implemented e-GP 100 percent up to the value of Taka 100 crore. Since 2012, e-GP growth started skyrocketing and it was implemented in other government procuring agencies.
In all, e-GP coverage is 40 per cent of total volume of public procurement. It is growing fast. In 2017, CPTU took up another project titled, "Digitizing Implementation Monitoring and Public Procurement Project (DIMAPPP)" in association with World Bank for full implementation of e-GP.
Asked about the future agenda of CPTU, Faruque said more reforms would be implemented under DIMAPPP. In line with SDG target for public procurement, steps will be taken to make it sustainable.
"The steps include framing a disposal policy considering the life cycle costs of procurement, empowering CPTU with more autonomy, self-sufficiency of e-GP system and digitization of project monitored by IMED," said the CPTU DG.
Actions to achieve the SDG target of 12.7 are; i) procurement process using e-GP and (ii) usage of PPR in public procurement. The lead division responsible for this is IMED.
"On the procurement front by 2018, full coverage of procurement in e-GP up to any value, introduction of intellectual and service procurement in e-GP, international procurement, and contract management are high on agenda," he added.
Statistics showed up to December 2017, about 1200 out of a total of 1300 procuring agencies were connected to e-GP system. The number of tenderers registered with the system is now about 41,000.
Up to December 2017 from 2011, more than 1.35 tenders were invited through e-GP and their total value is over 1.24 lakh crore taka.
The e-GP system through tender document sales, registration and renewal has so far earned Taka 219 crore. A total of 45 banks are also connected to e-GP under MoUs as well as CPTU to collect payments both online and offline. For e-GP support 24 hours Help Desk is introduced at CPTU and it is also available at 16575.
There are a total of 60 national procurement trainers in the country. Steps have been taken under DIMAPPP for further capacity building and professionalization. Citizen engagement will also be forged for boosting transparency.
The CPTU has made two innovations in the domain of public procurement. Such innovations will help the stakeholders, especially the procuring entities and tenderers. However, others concerned will also get benefit from such innovative interventions.
Meanwhile, video tutorials to help procuring entities, tenderers, financial institutions and others in the conduct of e-GP have been developed and finalized for CPTU by Dohatec New Media. The innovative online tutorials have 20 separate modules in separate videos. Total duration of all the video tutorials is one thousand minutes.
The CPTU has launched its new website (www.cptu.gov.bd) to upload of tender notices. Earlier, PEs used to send their tender notices (non-eGP) and CPTU would upload those on its website. But, now arrangement has been made and system has been innovated for PEs to post their tender notices on the new website by them.
Positive changes have been made after e-GP introduction. In 2007, about 15 per cent of the contract awards used to be made public whereas in e-GP system 100 per cent of the contracts are published on e-GP website.
About 70 percent of the tender notices were published in 2007 and in 2017; it is 100 per cent in e-GP. In 2007, only 10 per cent of contract award decisions were made within the initial tender validity period and in e-GP it stood at 99.5 per cent in 2016.
The competition on an average per tender was only 4 in 2007 while in 2017; it rose to 11 per tender in e-GP.