World Bank Procurement Reform Moves Ahead

November 25, 2013

WASHINGTON, November 25, 2013 – The World Bank is launching the second stage of the reform of its procurement policy and guidelines, after Executive Directors’ endorsement of a “Proposed New Framework on Procurement in World Bank Investment Project Finance” on November 15, 2013.

The World Bank’s vision for procurement is to “support clients to achieve value for money with integrity in delivering sustainable development.”

“While the current policy and guidelines have served us well over the years, a more modern procurement policy will allow us to preserve our robust standards while better responding to our clients’ needs,” said Kyle Peters, Vice President of Operations Policy and Country Services at the World Bank. “The concepts of ‘value for money’ and ‘fit for purpose’ are at the center of the new procurement framework, which is all about ensuring our projects deliver the greatest development impact." 

The goal of the new policy framework is to deliver value for money with integrity in delivering sustainable development for clients. This includes making procurement decisions that promote competition and quality. The World Bank will reposition procurement to be context specific, while at the same time ensuring the highest fiduciary standards.

“Integrity and fairness are essential to upholding strong procurement principles. As we go forward with the reform of our procurement system, we will protect procurement from fraud and corruption and will provide credible complaints mechanisms for bidders,” says Christopher Browne, the World Bank’s Chief Procurement Officer.

The second stage of the reform will be dedicated to working on a detailed strategy for implementing the changes suggested in the policy framework. A final policy proposal will be presented to the Bank’s Board of Executive Directors for approval in 2015.

During the first stage of the reform (2012-early 2013), the World Bank introduced the policy framework and consulted with almost 2,000 stakeholders in about 100 countries to seek their views on how the Bank should do procurement. In October 2013, the Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) highlighted a number of areas for improvement, including a more strategic approach to capacity building and a progressive approach towards a greater use of client institutions and arrangements.

For individual client countries, the nature and extent of the Bank’s work on procurement will vary. In some countries, where the Bank’s direct financial support is not needed, the Bank may play a predominantly advisory role. The Bank will continue to take an active role in assuring the highest procurement standards in countries with less robust procurement systems. Where needed, the Bank will also work towards strengthening country procurement institutions and systems to enhance capacity beyond World Bank-financed projects.

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