Cabinet approves draft proclamation to automate public procurement
All federal institutions will be authorized to make purchases only through the use of electronic means beginning from the next fiscal year, according to the Public Procurement and Property Authority.
It is a revised plan from the original five-year goal to completely automate public procurement. If carried out according to plan, the action will put an end to manual procurement.
The Council of Ministers (CoM) recently approved a new draft proclamation, which is expected to be ratified by the Parliament in the coming months. The transition period from manual to electronic has been shortened to one year in the draft proclamation.
The Electronic Government Procurement (e-GP) System was first piloted at nine government organizations and is now used by 74. So far, 1,547 tenders have been issued through the e-GP system, with over 8,400 suppliers registered to participate in public tenders.
“No form of manual procurement will be permitted beginning next year,” stated Haji Ibsa, the Authority’s head. “From yearly procurement plan preparation to tender awarding, eGP must be used.”
Haji believes that full adoption of the system will help combat corruption while ensuring transparency during the procurement process.
“It will also make the tender process more efficient, avoiding clashes with bidders and conflicts of interest because it is open to the public,” Haji explained. “The paper cost is something we cannot disregard. It saves a lot of money by turning the system paperless.”
There were worries that officials’ reluctance to use the new system and other bugs in the system would slow down the Authority’s plan for full implementation. Haji is certain he will meet the time frame because the preparation work has already been done.
“Until July 8, 2023, federal government agencies must submit their procurement plans. Any institution that fails to do so cannot make any manual procurement,” Haji said.
Over two-thirds of the federal budget is spent on procurement. Spending on roads, schools, and hospitals takes up a sizable portion of the national budget.