Public procurement contracts to be made public | Daily News


 

Public procurement contracts to be made public

Priyanga Algama
Priyanga Algama

Ministry of Finance Director General Public Finance, Priyanga Algama said that with the implementation of the government electronic procurement system now online at PROMISE.LK the award of government contracts would become public information. Algama was speaking at the PROMISE.LK technical session for vendors on October 28 at the Taj Samudra. The session was part of a series of sessions aimed to educate stakeholders.

Algama said, “Public procurement remains a large part of the economies of developing countries in the world. In Sri Lanka accounts for an estimated 7-10 percent of Gross Domestic Product and about 20-25 percent of total government expenditure.

He added “It is an area that needs attention since resources are not being properly managed in achieving the development of goals due to several irregularities in the process. The vast amount of money flowing through the government procurement system can create an improper incentive system. When procurement systems are weak, lack of transparency, and accountability, we have experienced unpredictable delays and cost overruns in a large number of infrastructure projects. This has caused significant economic issues.”

The system is decentralized and allows procuring state entities to advertise their procurement requirements. Entities are also able to publish annual procurement plans and make forward announcements of procurement intent. This is to help co-ordination between vendors and state entities.

Algama said “We have now recognized these issues in public procurement and time has come to re-engineer with the latest technologies. This is a timely response to a long-felt need. As you are aware following the 4th South Asia procurement conference ending in Kandy in 2018 under the arm of e-procurement we initiated action with cabinet approval.

“To minimize the transaction costs of buyers and sellers associated with procurement we have used standardization. We have streamlined the procurement process across agencies.” The system will use the European Common Procurement Value (CPV) codes. Automation of bid selection by state entities is to be implemented in due course reducing human intervention on bids. The system will allow state entities to provide clarification on their requirements. Complaints and appeals can be recorded by the system.

All bids made into the system are encrypted and any accesses to bid documents are logged by the system. Selected 3rd party agencies are to be given access to the system to provide oversight and analysis. The system currently uses a credit card portal for payments but has tied up with LankaPay to act as the payment system.

In the future bid security payments made through the LankaPay system can be automatically recorded. The system will integrate via APIs with future developments in the company registrar’s office to share newly digitized financial data and share ownership information giving state entities more information on vendors and the public greater oversight when contracts are awarded. Other regulatory entities such as in construction shall also digitize their records and integrate them via APIs with the system.

 


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