Tajikistan, Dushanbe, March 3, 2014 – Ensuring that public goods and services are acquired through more effective, transparent and accountable process was the main theme of a series of knowledge exchange events that took place in Dushanbe and Kurghan Tube on February 24-28. The events were organized in the framework of the World Bank’s South- South Facility grant and involved procurement experts from the World Bank, the Islamic Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development/UNCITRAL Initiative, the Agency on Public Procurement of the Republic of Tajikistan, the Ministry of Finance of Tajikistan and Commerce Dot Com Sdn Bhd from Malaysia. Topics discussed during the knowledge exchange events included effective introduction and implementation of an e-procurement system in the Republic of Tajikistan; experience of e-procurement reforms in Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Georgia and Portugal; use of information technologies in World Bank financed projects; and procurement in state investment projects financed by grants and credits.
“The efficiency and effectiveness of a public procurement system determines whether citizens get value from public expenditures. Procurement, when it is effective, improves service delivery, enhances trust between government and citizens, and assists in the development of a competitive private sector,” said Marsha Olive, World Bank Country Manager for Tajikistan. “For these reason, the Bank in cooperation with other international partners is committed to helping the Government of Tajikistan acquire knowledge from countries with positive experience in public procurement.”
The World Bank provides systematic support to the Government of Tajikistan to improve its public finance management systems, including those on public procurement. The Bank’s South to South Facility Grant aims to support the process of planning and implementation of an effective e-procurement system in Tajikistan through capacity building and knowledge exchange activities. In November 2013 five representatives from the Executive Office of the President of Tajikistan and the Agency on Public Procurement of Tajikistan traveled to Malaysia to learn and gain practical skills from similar institutions, which demonstrate excellence in e-procurement. The knowledge exchange helped to establish partner relationships and a platform to exchange experiences, ideas and best practices. On February 24-28, 2014 public procurement experts from Malaysia visited Tajikistan to deepen this cooperation in the area of e-procurement. At the end of the visit a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation between partner agencies in Tajikistan and Malaysia was signed.
The activities under the World Bank executed South-South Experience Exchange Facility are in line with the priorities of the Government of Tajikistan’s efforts to continuously reform and modernize the public procurement system. To keep up with the growth of e-commerce and mindful of the need for efficiency and transparency in the public procurement system, the Government has recently adopted an e-Procurement Program for 2013 -2015.
The active portfolio of the World Bank in Tajikistan currently consists of 13 projects with a net commitment of US$222 million. The largest share of the portfolio is in agriculture and rural development (40 percent), followed by water and sanitation (15 percent), human development (14 percent), energy (13 percent), the public sector (12 percent), and the private sector (6 percent).