The government on Monday signed a financing agreement worth US$34.5m for additional financing of the on-going Second Public Procurement Reform Project (PPRP II) with the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s concessionary arm.
The additional financing will help to scale up electronic procurement (e-GP) and on-line procurement performance monitoring in key public agencies.
Economic Relations Division secretary Md Abul Kalam Azad and the World Bank’s country director Johannes Zutt signed the deal on behalf of their respective sides.
Bangladesh has been steadily improving its procurement environment since 2002, with the support of two consecutive World Bank financed projects.
PPRP II has piloted electronic procurement in the four government agencies that account for more than half of the total government procurement. These are: Roads and Highways Department, Local Government Engineering Department, Rural Electrification Board and Bangladesh Water Development Board.
Since PPRP II piloted electronic procurement and online procurement performance monitoring systems, 65% small value contracts at decentralised levels were awarded within initial bid validity period in 2012, up from only 10% in 2007.
100% of bids invitations are now published in newspapers, up from 70% in 2005.
“The Government of Bangladesh has made progress in improving its procurement in recent years, and the World Bank continues actively to support the Government in this effort,” said Johannes Zutt.
“Electronic procurement makes public contracting more transparent, more secure and more competitive, helping to reduce inappropriate bidding practices and to ensure the efficient use of taxpayer resources to achieve the development aspirations of the Bangladeshi people.”
The additional financing will deepen electronic procurement at these four agencies and also scale up capacity development in 20 more agencies, covering health, education, power and public works.
Further, expansion of procurement performance monitoring system (PROMIS) will enable improved efficiency of government bidding. Within the next three years, it is expected that the four key agencies will have 100% implementation of on-line procurement performance monitoring system. With this additional financing, the World Bank is providing a total support of $58.6m for the Public Procurement Reform Project II.
“The additional financing is a reflection of government’s vision of digital Bangladesh,” said Md Abul Kalam Azad.
“The government recognises that enhancing accountability and governance is a prerequisite to faster poverty reduction and economic development.
Full-scale adoption of e-procurement would speed up the implementation of annual development plan.”
The credit from the IDA has 40 years to maturity, including a 10-year grace period; and carries a service charge of 0.75%.