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Brief : Banks can play vital role in advancing e-GP
Details :

Banks can play vital role in advancing e-GP

The Financial Express
July 12, 2015

To enhance efficiency, transparency, accountability and competition in public procurement the government is pledge-bound to implement electronic government procurement (e-GP) in all its procuring agencies and entities.
In line with government's vision for Digital Bangladesh, the Central Procurement Technical Unit (CPTU) of Implementation Moni¬toring and Evaluation Division, Ministry of Planning, has been implementing e-GP with support from World Bank under the Public Procurement Reform Project -II.
The Director General of CPTU, Md Faruque Hossain, in an interview with The Financial Express (FE), shared details about the prospects and constraints in bringing the entire tendering process of the government under the e-GP system.
He said commercial banks, among others, can play a vital role in taking e-GP forward as tenderers, who are always in a hurry, rush to banks to submit fees to participate in tender under e-GP system.
The excerpts of the interview are as follows:
FE: Would you share with us the purpose of e-tender and e-GP in the public sector? Is the process completely online now?
Faruque Hossain (FH): e-GP is a modern and integrated online platform where the entire cycle of public procurement can be carried out online. All sectors of the government need to go digital for implementing Vision 2021. Therefore, the public procurement on which government spends about Tk 780 billion (78 thousand crore) a year needs to be digitalised. We have established the system based on information communication technology (ICT) that provides full online services.
FE: How will it benefit and contribute to economic growth of the country and how long will take to implement e-GP in all public offices?
FH: It is safe and secure; saves time and cost and ensures transparency and accountability more than in any manual system. The e-GP system in other countries proved very cost-effective. It can ensure better public service delivery and value for public money. We plan to implement it across all government entities by 2020.
FE: Who are major stakeholders in the implementation of e-tender and e-GP?

FH: The procuring entities of the government and tenderers are the prime stakeholders. Banks also play a vital role as they facilitate various payments in the system. At the moment 39 banks have become linked to e-GP. Development partners are also stakeholder of e-GP. Civil society and general public are also stakeholders as they can observe the status online.

FE: How much are the government offices and tenderers capable, at this point, of taking up e-GP fully?
FH: We have been providing training to procuring entities and tenderers on e-GP on a continuous basis. We are expanding the capacity of the Data Centre. Four target agencies under the PPRP-II are also providing training to their relevant staff and tenderers. The target agencies are Roads and Highways Department (RHD), Local Government and Engineering Department (LGED), Water Development Board (BWDB) and Rural Electrification Board (REB). Tenderers may also get training being provided by some private organisations like Dohatec.

FE: Can tenderers submit fees for e-GP to banks electronically now and what about e-signature for e-GP?
FH: The e-GP system has been linked to the payment gateway of the Ducth-Bangla Bank and BRAC Bank. Tenderers can submit tender fees online by their debit and credit cards from home. Tenderers are using hash function as e-signature.
FE: Is e-GP conducted within the purview of the principles of public procurement?

FH: Within the principles of public procurement, the government approved the e-GP Guidelines. E-procurement has reduced time options and it is hassle-free.

FE: How is any problem addressed when tenderers face the same while participating in e-GP?

FH: CPTU has established e-GP Help Desk ( at its office that provides 24 hours and seven days' support to tenderers for their registration and tendering.

FE: Under what modality is e-GP now operated? Would you tell us about its sustainability?

FH: It is now operated under the PPRP-II supported by the World Bank. After 2017 the government will fully take over its operation and continue e-GP in the country. The e-GP system earns more than its expenditure which is deposited to the government treasury. Government can finance it either from its revenue or development budget.

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