Involving private sector in procurement process
To reach out the business community to enhance transparency and value for money in procurement to spur economic development, World Bank ( WB) in collaboration with the government procurement and property management division of finance ministry and Asian Development Bank ( ADB) conducted a half day outreach seminar to the business community on 2 November in Thimphu.
The seminar also aims to raise awareness of the private sector about the bidding opportunities available through public investment projects financed by the World Bank as well as by the government, and the Asian Development Bank.
There were discussions on the procurement complaints handling mechanism. The seminar further encourages the increased participation of the contracting community in the bidding opportunities and enable them to prepare better and more competitive bids.
Both the representative from WB and ADB highlighted on their project activities and shared the potential of market for the private businesses.
Senior country coordination officer, ADB, Tshewang Norbu talked on the bidding related complaints in ADB project cycle and involvement of the private sector in the implementation process. He also explained on the ADB's assistance in energy, water and urban sector and training institutes, health sector. He said that the ADB's project ratings are declining year over year which are based on the technical issues, contract awards, disbursement, financial management, and safeguards requirements. He suggested performance portfolio in project ratings needs improvement in readiness, institutional capacity of implementing and executing agency, effective use of client portal disbursement, and timely submission of audit project financial statement.
President, Construction Association of Bhutan, Thinley Jamtsho also shared his concerns that procurement process is in the heart of any development activties and it entails transparency, value for money, and non- discrimination.
Country representative of World Bank, Yoichiro Ishihara, said that Bhutan is not doing enough in terms of improving environment for private sector. He shared Bhutan ranked 81st in World Bank's Doing Business 2019 index. Lead procurement specialist of World Bank, Richard Olowo shared on the World Bank procurement policies and website resources. Chief Procurement Officer, Karma Wangdi shared on the grievance mechanism of the government procurement system.
The event was attended by the all the relevant stakeholders involved with the different steps in the procurement cycle including the Royal Monetary Authority, standards bureau, customs and tax authorities, clearing and forwarding agents, media houses, financial institutions, contractors, suppliers, consultants, as well as project staff.