The e-Government Procurement (e-GP) system in Bangladesh has not only revolutionized the way public procurement is conducted but also yielded remarkable results in terms of cost savings, efficiency, and transparency. Spearheaded by the Central Procurement Technical Unit (CPTU), this digital platform has been a game-changer, driving significant progress in the country’s procurement landscape. In this blog, we will explore the impressive results achieved by the e-GP system, underscoring its transformative impact on Bangladesh’s development journey.
Unveiling the e-GP System
The e-GP system, accessible through the National e-Government Procurement (e-GP) portal (https://www.eprocure.gov.bd), offers a one-stop online platform for all procurement activities carried out by public agencies, including Procuring Agencies (PAs) and Procuring Entities (PEs). Hosted in the secure e-GP Data Center at CPTU, this web portal enables PAs and PEs to access a dedicated and user-friendly dashboard to conduct their procurement-related tasks with utmost convenience.
The e-GP system’s implementation unfolded in two phases, namely the e-Tendering System and the e-Contract Management System (e-CMS).
e-Tendering has been introduced on pilot basis in the CPTU under 4 (four) sectoral agencies, namely Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB), Local Government Engineering Department (LGED), Roads and Highways Department (RHD) and Rural Electrification Board (REB). After rolled out to all the PEs of the government up to Districts and sub-Districts level, now 106912 tenderer, 11374 PE’s of 1438 agencies and 52 banks have been registered in e-GP System.
The e-Tendering System covers the entire lifecycle of tendering processes. From centralized user registration to contract awards, it digitizes every step, ensuring a seamless experience for all stakeholders. Notable functionalities include:
- Centralized Registration System: Enabling registration of Contractors, Applicants, Consultants, Procuring Entities, and other relevant parties.
- Annual Procurement Planning (APP) Preparation and Publishing: Facilitating transparent planning of procurement activities.
- Online Tender Document Preparation and Submission: Streamlining the process of tender document preparation, submission, and evaluation.
- Online Tender Opening and Evaluation: Enhancing efficiency and transparency during the evaluation process.
- Online Notification of Award (NOA): Facilitating easiest way of NOA issuance and acceptance.
- Online Tender Payment: Enhancing efficiency and transparency to submit and release the Tender Security and Performance Security through e-GP registered bank.
- Online Negotiations and Contract Agreement: Providing a digital platform for contract negotiations and e-GP System automatically generates a draft contract.
- Online Contracts: Simplifying contract management and monitoring using e-CMS.
e-Contract Management System (e-CMS):
The e-CMS phase focuses on effective contract management and oversight. It includes functionalities such as:
- Work Plan Submission: Ensuring comprehensive planning and progress monitoring.
- Work Program Creation: Creating a roadmap to complete the work and re-scheduling the activity based on requirement.
- Measurement of Works: Ensuring Quality Control (QC) and generating the Measurement Book (MB) for the receiving items.
- Running Bill Payment Processing: Facilitating smooth payment processing for completed work stages.
- Progress Report: Generating physical and financial progress that represents the overall scenario of the contract.
- Work Completion Certificate: Digitizing the issuance of work completion certificates.
- Contractor’s Performance Appraisal/Rating: Assessing and enhancing contractor performance for future collaborations.
- World Bank’s Support and Expansion
The e-GP system’s implementation was made possible with support from the World Bank under the Public Procurement Reform (PPR) Program. Initially piloted with four Sectoral Agencies, including Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) and Roads and Highways Department (RHD), the system has seen remarkable success. Consequently, it is now being expanded to encompass all government procuring entities engaged in public procurement.
Cost Savings and Efficiency: A Winning Combination
One of the most striking outcomes of the e-GP system’s implementation is the substantial savings achieved in procurement costs. Compared to manual paper-based procurement, the e-GP system has delivered approximately 6.9% savings. This equates to an astounding estimated annual cost savings of $1.1 billion, freeing up vital financial resources for other developmental initiatives.
Additionally, the e-GP system has streamlined the procurement process, significantly reducing the time required for procurement activities. Over the years, the procurement time has witnessed a notable decline, decreasing from 100 days (FY17) to an impressive 58 days (FY21). This heightened efficiency not only expedites developmental projects but also enhances the overall governance process.
Wide Adoption and Impact during COVID-19
The e-GP system’s success is evident in its widespread adoption by public organizations in Bangladesh. During FY21, an impressive 67% of the country’s public procurement expenditure, amounting to approximately $17.5 billion, was processed through the e-GP system. This substantial usage showcases the trust and confidence stakeholders have placed in the system.
Moreover, the e-GP system emerged as a reliable backbone for development operations during the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic. Its digital infrastructure enabled more than 1400 public organizations to seamlessly process all procurement activities online. This continuity ensured the smooth execution of crucial projects, even in the face of unprecedented circumstances.
Empowering Citizens and Enhancing Transparency
The e-GP system’s impact extends beyond cost savings and efficiency gains. It has played a vital role in fostering social accountability and transparency in the procurement process. Through citizen engagement initiatives, around 48 sub-districts have been involved in monitoring contract implementation. Positive feedback from citizens underscores the system’s effectiveness in promoting transparency and responsiveness. To further promote citizen engagement and transparency, an online citizen portal was launched for public procurement and contract implementation monitoring. This portal serves as a platform for citizens to actively participate in the governance process, ensuring that public funds are utilized effectively and responsibly.
Establishing Green Public Procurement (GPP): Reducing Carbon Emissions
Procurement through e-GP provides minimal adverse environmental impact by reducing tenderers’ travel distance by 497 million KM, saving 1,053 million pages of paper and reducing carbon emissions by 153,559 tons (MAP, World Bank, June 2020). Also, the integration with other Government services like National ID, iBAS++, AChallan, etc. has accelerated the green public procurement by creating eco-friendly transformation and consuming less resources.
Dohatec: The Driving Force
Behind this transformative digital infrastructure stands Dohatec, the company responsible for developing the e-GP platform. Dohatec also implemented the Public Procurement Management Information System (PROMIS), a groundbreaking tool that incorporates critical performance indicators set by international bodies like the OECD and the World Bank.
Dohatec also provides Electronic Government Procurement (eGP) and Procurement Management Information System (PROMIS) training of IMED, Ministry of Planning Government of Peoples Republic of Bangladesh. The pioneers of eGP and PROMIS in Bangladesh
1. Roads & Highway Department (RHD)
2. Local Government Engineering Department (LGED)
3. Rural Electrification Board (REB)
4. Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB)
So far Dohatec has trained 14599 PE User, 10789 Tenderer and 995 Bank Officer on e-GP System.
The e-Government Procurement (e-GP) system has undoubtedly emerged as a transformative force in Bangladesh’s development journey. From driving substantial cost savings and enhanced efficiency to promoting citizen engagement and transparency, its results are a testament to the power of technology in shaping modern governance. As the e-GP system continues to expand its reach, its impact on public procurement and national development will only grow stronger. With each passing day, it reaffirms its position as a driving force, empowering Bangladesh to achieve its developmental goals and aspirations while fostering trust and accountability among its citizens and stakeholders alike.