The prospects and challenges of E- Government Procurement (E-GP) in Bangladesh- a case study on Public Works Department (PWD).
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Procurement is the acquisition of goods, services or works from an outside external source and performance of Services by any contractual means. Public procurement means procurement using public funds. Public sector organizations acquire goods, services and works from third parties. The system or process of public procurement in Bangladesh has been evolved, modified and developed over time. Under the primary legislation PPA 2006, the Public Procurement Rules 2008 was framed and issued, which replaced the Public Procurement Regulations 2003 of purchasing, hiring or obtaining of goods, works or services by any contractual means. Corruption and poor governance are impeding Bangladesh's efforts to reduce its massive poverty by reducing economic growth and lowering the achievement of social objectives. Electronic procurement makes public contracting more accessible, more secure and more efficient. Through the web interface, procurement information becomes accessible and competition and transparency are enhanced - making collusive bidding difficult.Implementation of e-Government Procurement will supplement the present government's vision for building a Digital Bangladesh by 2021. The idea of a virtual bidding process could save more than 15% of the government's procurement costs, according to a World Bank study and it becomes easier to eradicate corruptions from the country. As the country marching forward for “Digital Bangladesh”, introducing the system of submitting the tender over internet is a very positive step.Objective of this paper is to identify and discuss the e-Government Procurement prospects and challenges and recommends measures to be adopted in public procurement system in Bangladesh. For this purpose a Questionnaire survey has been conducted in PWD to gather primary data. In addition, Key Informant Interview has been conducted to collect invaluable opinions of procuring entity; their perception regarding the impact of e-Procurement, the reasons behind and suitable suggestions to overcome the negative impacts.It was found from the study that for e-procurement solutions to be successful PWD needs to implement change in its traditional procurement practice through strong leadership, upper management buy-in, cultural change, and technological infrastructuralchange and also through awareness and motivation of the prospective tenderers and internal users of the system. The study also revealed that by successful adaptation of e- GP, PWD could achieve transparent, fraud & corruption free, more accountable, time and cost efficient more improved decision making in its procurement process. Thus by obtaining the benefits and prospective performance result of the e- GP system, the paper-based system can be replaced by e-GP. In Bangladesh, it can be a very effective tool to ensure good governance in the public procurement. From the findings of the study, we recommend that PWD needs Strategic Planning to integrate e-GP in its procurement practices. Short, mid and Long term planning and review and evaluation mechanism needs to be formulated under strategic scope. Support and active participation of the Senior Officers will play vital role in the implementation of the system. So, buy-in of the upper management is a must. Strict compliance to the orders and directives of the top management by the field offices need to be secured. Good knowledge about Public Procurement Act 2006 (PPA 06) and Public Procurement Regulations „2008 (PPR 08) need to be established among the procurement practitioners. Compatible ICT infrastructure is to be confirmed in every offices of the organization. PWD s existing capacity need to be re-assessed and plan accordingly. Separate dedicated and competent e-GP Cell for providing support to the users on 24/7 basis is required to establish. Training/workshop/good practice sharing programmes are needed to enhance and develop capacity of the suppliers or contractors on e-GP.