Implementing electronic government procurement (e-GP) in Bangladesh: a study on 10 district LGED offices
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Government procurement in a developing country is often involved with collusive and corrupt practices (Abdallah, 2015; cited in Naeem, 2016). In Bangladesh, the public procurement at local level is also subject to pressure of local powerful personnel and political leaders where the non-political tenderers are often forced not to participate in the tendering process (Abdallah, 2015). The management of public procurement through the application of information technology, called e-GP can address this malpractice. Further, the e-GP promotes competition through participation of local as well as region bidders and government purchases are processed in more efficient, transparent and accountable manner. According to a World Bank study, the e- GP could save more than 15 per cent of the government's procurement costs (Mahmood, 2013). Grounded on these benefits, e-GP was introduced in the Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) in 2010-11 under the auspices of the Second Public Procurement Reform Project (PPRP II). The overall purpose of this study is to assess the implementation of e-GP in selected LGED offices, identify the challenges of implementing e-GP in various stages of procurement cycle in LGED and find out the measures to overcome those challenges. Since most of LGED’s procurements are done by the offices of District Executive Engineers of LGED, 10 such offices are randomly selected for data collection. A questionnaire survey has been administered among the officials of these offices. Survey data have been presented using statistical tools and with descriptions. Prior to presentation of anecdotal evidence from survey, the secondary information has been summarized which were collected from various documents and statistics published by LGED, CPTU and other organizations. This study identified key challenges for implementing e-GP in various stages of procurement cycle in district LGED offices and put forward the doable solutions to address those challenges.