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Brief : DG, CPTU new chair of SAPPN
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Third South Asia Regional Public Procurement Conference ends with Dhaka Action Plan

The Third South Asia Regional Public Procurement Conference 2015 that began in Dhaka on November 1, 2015 ended on November 3, 2015 with the eight participating countries adopting a Dhaka Action Plan that proposed a set of recommendations to make their procurement performance sustainable.
The Central Procurement Technical Unit (CPTU) of Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Division under the Ministry of Planning hosted the conference at Westin Hotel in Dhaka from November 1 to November 3, 2015. The World Bank and the Asian Development Bank co-hosted the annual assemblage under the theme “Innovation for sustainable procurement performance.”
Director General of CPTU Md. Faruque Hossain took over as the new Chair of the South Asia Regional Public Procurement Network (SAPPN) in the conference from Nazrat Bashir, Managing Director of Federal Public Procurement Regulatory Authority of Pakistan.
In various technical sessions the procurement heads of the South Asian countries including Bangladesh discussed and exchanged knowledge and experiences on sound public procurement performance, procurement workforce and professionalization – essential performance elements, electronic-Government Procurement (e-GP), framework agreements, open data/contracting, strategic procurement for improved performance and performance measurement.
The recommendations include identification of resources for establishing a National Institute for Public Procurement in all South Asian countries, development of a framework and tool kit for certification/accreditation of procurement professionals, establishment of MoUs with other international/regional networks for knowledge exchange, piloting procurement performance measurement system, development of a basic set of key performance indicators to measure procurement performance in a common sector like transport of all South Asian countries with possibility of third- party monitoring, incorporating provision of framework agreement in e-GP, facilitating internet access at rural areas and enhancing South Asia Public Procurement Network website into a dynamic portal for information, networking, education and transaction facilitation in South Asia.
On November 1, 2015, AHM Mustafa Kamal, Minister for Planning, inaugurate the conference as Chief Guest.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith wrapped up the three-day conference. Mohammad Mejbahuddin, Senior Secretary, Economic Relations Division, Secretary of IMED Md. Shahid Ullah Khandaker, Practice Manager, Governance Global Practice for South Asia of World Bank Felipe Goya, Country Director of the Asian Development Bank Kazuhiko Higuchi and Acting Head of World Bank Bangladesh, Ms. Christine Kimes spoke on the occasion. The Finance Minister awarded certificates among the participants.
In his concluding remarks the Finance Minister dwelt on the importance of public procurement in the economy of Bangladesh and other South Asian Countries.
“Performance, innovation, transparency and best practices are very important in public procurement. At the same time Public procurement is important in functioning of the modern governments,” the Finance Minister observed. The Minister laid emphasis on public –private collaboration in this regard.
He mentioned some of the recommendations of the conference and said the government would consider setting up of a public procurement institute.
Muhith said the economy of Bangladesh has been stable and it was not affected by the global recession due to certain effective measures taken by the government. He said that Bangladesh is an example in reducing both poverty and inequality simultaneously. He expressed the hope that by 2018 Bangladesh would be able to eradicate extreme poverty and by 2030 the country would be totally free from poverty.
He said Bangladesh has unified laws and rules for public procurement operation. The government is in a process to revise those soon to fulfill requirements of time and realities in the country.
The Minister said Bangladesh is doing well in electronic government procurement (e-GP). It needs to improve further with more coverage. He observed that e-GP is an effective means to prevent corruption in public procurement.
The main objective of the third conference was to provide a platform for the public procurement practitioners and stakeholders to share knowledge and experiences of good procurement practices with a view to continuously enhancing performance in the public procurement system. The fourth conference will be held in Sri Lanka. The second conference was held in Islamabad in 2014 and the first one in Nepal in 2011.

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