Electronic Government Procurement (e-GP) in Bangladesh: A Success Story

The World Bank-supported project in Bangladesh to build an electronic Government Procurement Portal (e-GP) has brought the whole public procurement and contract management process online. Overall, E-GP has been a game changer in Bangladesh. The technology has aided in the improvement of the public procurement efficiency, transparency, and accountability. E-GP can serve as an example for other countries seeking to update their public procurement systems. In this blog article, we will go through the highlights of a World Bank report on how switching from manual procurement process to e-Gp in Bangladesh has contributed to the country’s economic gains. 

The Electronic Government Procurement (e-GP) System was a little part of a $91 million World Bank-funded project leading to savings of $1.1 billion a year. Dohatec New Media was the Public Procurement Reform Project II’s Nominated Sub-Consultant. Dohatec is constantly working on enhancing the e-GP system. Dohatec also trains government employees and tenderers on how to use the e-GP system.

The e-GP system has completely changed the nation’s public procurement and contract management procedures. The project aims to lower costs while improving accessibility, efficiency, and transparency. To overcome resistance to change and assure sustainability, it took a significant political commitment and behavioral interventions.

Capacity building, the development of cutting-edge technology, and initiatives to enhance knowledge and involvement among stakeholders such as government officials, bidding communities, civil society, journalists, legal professionals, and the commercial sector were key components of the project. Bangladesh’s government agreed to a 15-year partnership with the World Bank, allowing for thorough preparation and complete transformation.

The results of the e-GP system implementation have been significant: 

  • Procurement costs were reduced by approximately 7%, saving $1.1 billion in FY21 compared to manual paper-based procurement. 
  • The time for procurement decreased from 100 to 57 days. 
  • The e-GP system processed 80% of public procurement expenditure in FY21, compared to only 2% at the beginning of the project in 2017. 
  • Market access and the bidding environment improved, with a fourfold increase in registered bidders.

Through online bid submission and review, contract approval and award, document preservation, bidder validation, and complaint submission and tracking, the e-GP system improved the integrity of public procurement. In addition, the initiative launched an online citizen portal for procurement and contract implementation monitoring, with residents from 48 sub-districts participating.

The International Development Association (IDA) provided $95 million in funding for the project, with additional contributions from the Government of Bangladesh. The project was co-created by several institutions, including the Central Procurement Technical Unit (CPTU), the Local Government Engineering Department, and numerous capacity building partners.

Future objectives include the addition of new features, the enhancement of security and data center capacity, and the development of emergency procurement and contract management frameworks. The project’s goals include creating a policy roadmap for sustainable procurement, assisting small and medium-sized businesses, women-led businesses, and startups, and establishing the Bangladesh Public Procurement Authority (BPPA) for autonomous regulation and monitoring.

The project’s beneficiaries include procuring entities, bidders, a host of auditor and other oversight parties, and the general public. The improved approach has resulted in increased accountability, transparency, and timely completion of public works projects, which benefits both government officials and citizens.

Stakeholders have provided good feedback, stressing the reduction of manipulation, corruption, and harassment in the procurement process. Contractors and engineers are pleased with the greater transparency and accountability, which has resulted in more business prospects and a sense of pride.

To read more on this : https://www.worldbank.org/en/results/2022/08/04/world-bank-funded-project-drives-public-procurement-reform-in-bangladesh

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