The system is expected to reduce corruption in the Nu 13 billion worth public procurement process 

ICT: A Bangladeshi software firm has won the contract to develop an electronic government procurement (e-GP) system worth Nu 10.7 million or USD 159,500 for the government.

Dohatec New Media, which also developed the same system for the Bangladeshi government, will be working with local company, New Edge Technologies.

The government is developing the e-GP system to promote transparency and efficiency in the public procurement system.

“Moving government towards online/electronic (procurement) is expected to benefit government through efficiency gains and cost savings,” stated the project’s terms of reference. “The suppliers through easy and equitable access to information and opportunity for participation, and public at large through enhanced transparency and accountability,” it is added.

The current system is subject to corruption such as abuse of power, nepotism and favouritism, misuse of public funds, bribery and kickbacks, collusion and bid rigging, according to a paper published for the International Anti-Corruption Academy.

“Further, the potential for fraud and corruption in the procurement process is expected to considerably reduce by the e-GP,  the terms of reference stated.

The e-GP system will have the capacity to handle 3,000 procurements and 15,000 bids a year.

The government spends an average of around Nu 13 billion in procurement of works, goods and services every year.

The development and customization of the software is expected to commence from January 26 for Phase I of the project.

Once the e-GP system is fully tested all the government procurement shall be carried out through the system.

According to the terms of reference for the project, phase I includes phased launching from April 2016 to June 2017.

Phase II will be launched between February 2018-June 2019, and phase III from February 2020-June 2021.

The e-GP system is expected serve as a single window and a primary source of information and communication technology in all Government procurement.

The e-GP road map or master plan was developed with World Bank assistance in June 2007, and incorporated in the government master plan in 2012.

Technical assistance was provided by IDA International, Singapore with financial support from the Tamasek Foundation and the government.

Currently, the PPD maintains a procurement portal website to disseminate information to line agencies and bidders. The portal provides a single point of access to information on procurements made across various central government organizations.

The finance ministry did not respond to questions regarding the e-procurement system submitted on Friday in time for the writing of this article, yesterday.

Gyalsten K Dorji