LNP – Minimum annual saving of Rs. 30 bn Govt procurement goes electronic

The Government will shortly go in for a system where it will engage in all its procurements electronically which will have a minimum annual saving of at least Rs. 30 billion, a senior Treasury official told Daily News Business yesterday.

He also said that the Finance Ministry has studied similar systems which are operational in the region such as India, Nepal and Bangladesh and devised this system which will be very beneficial to this country when implemented. Public procurement in Sri Lanka requires improving its efficiency, cost-effectiveness and competitiveness given the scarcity of limited resources. Introduction of e-government procurement (e-GP) is the way forward and is beneficial for both bidders and government agencies.

The term e-GP broadly refers to the application of information and communication technology (ICT) to the public procurement process,” he said.

Electronic procurement, particularly in the public domain, is an effective policy tool to establish the fundamentals of market economy and hence increase a country’s productivity. The advantages of e-GP systems are (i) cost savings; (ii) increased competition and inclusive growth ;( iii) greater process efficiency; and (iv) enhanced transparency and accountability. Further it will enable procurement of sensitive goods and services to move freely, fostering the competitiveness of suppliers in domestic and world markets.

The Ministry of Finance initiated action to develop an Electronic Government Procurement (e-GP) System with the technical assistance of Theekshana of the School of Computing, University of Colombo with the approval of the Cabinet of Ministers. A Working Group comprising eminent subject specialists such as procurement, legal, Computing and IT was formed under the Chairmanship of then Director General of Public Finance who works as a Deputy Secretary to the Treasury currently. The Electronic Government Procurement System is regarded as a major transformation of public financial management as public procurement represents a significant percentage of the Government Budget. e-government procurement (e-GP) system which is known as Procurement Management Information System (PROMISe) is designed in line with the Policy Document of the President “Vistas of Prosperity and Splendors” incorporating advanced technological developments to handle all aspects of the procurement process, ranging from the publication of tenders, transfer of bid documents, bid submission, bid evaluation, contract awards, and payments.

Annual savings to the Treasury from this system is estimated well over Rs.30 billion. PROMISe provides a common infrastructure for public procurement that is shared among all public procuring entities in Sri Lanka. It delivers valuable services to bidders, minimizing the costs of procurement transactions and enhancing the visibility of procurement decision-making.

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