Electronic procurement systems are in place around the world in both the public and private sectors, but have proven especially beneficial in government settings. E-government procurement systems are already functional throughout the US, Australia, and the UK, as well as Singapore, Malaysia, and the EU. Bangladesh has recently launched an e-procurement system as well.
The Benefits of Government e-Procurement
Electronic procurement simplifies the process of purchasing. It is more cost-efficient and quicker than traditional systems. Increased transparency is one of the biggest benefits in the public sector. This is particularly important in Bangladesh, where the government bidding process has always been quite competitive and their public fund management is one of the most vulnerable in the world. Since the recent launch of the e-GP system, the Central Procurement Technical Unit (CPTU) has received 25 applications from various public entities in Bangladesh.
E-GP in Bangladesh
The CPTU in Bangladesh is receiving funding from the World Bank to set up and expand the new e-procurement system. The agency has already developed a comprehensive website to announce projects, accept bids, and expand their exposure. Developing a seamless e-tendering process is the next step. Public agencies that want to take part in the system will undergo training to make the system run as smoothly as possible.
CPTU officials plan to include up to 5 more agencies as the system expands. Currently, 4 state-owned agencies use the e-GP system, as well as the Bangladesh Power Development Board. “We have sought some information like the internet connectivity, IT professionals and adequate manpower of the aspirant public agencies. We will scrutinise their capacity. Then we will select some of them to come under the e-GP,” says CPTU developer Amulya Kumar Debhnath.
E-procurement opens a lot of possibilities for the public sector. With success in Bangladesh, more regional and local governments will adopt similar systems to manage public spending.