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Bhutan Agency Approved for Alternative Procurement Arrangements by the World Bank

November 16, 2016

for use in World Bank-financed projects.

This is the first alternative arrangement under the World Bank’s new procurement framework, which went into effect July 1. What this means is that the agency’s own procurement arrangements are approved for use in Bank projects and can be used when deemed the best approach to deliver effective results – as an alternative to World Bank processes and regulations.

“This reflects the significant developments over the past decade in the public procurement system in the Royal Government of Bhutan,” said Christopher Browne, Chief Procurement Officer, World Bank. “It is also a great step forward in testing this new approach. We hope others will follow Bhutan’s lead and volunteer to have their institutions assessed.”

Thimphu Thromde is one of the major implementing agencies in the Kingdom of Bhutan for World Bank-financed operations. It is generally considered as one of the highest performing agencies in procurement, with a well-established complaints management system as well as publicly available information on rules and procedures, bidding opportunities, contract awards, and data on resolution of procurement complaints.

“The Royal Government has demonstrated a strong commitment to further strengthening the legal, regulatory, and institutional frameworks underpinning public procurement, which is key to ensuring public money is well spent on behalf of local taxpayers and residents,” said Qimiao Fan, World Bank Country Director for Bhutan. “We are delighted that the Kingdom of Bhutan and Thimphu Thromde are pioneering this new approach which aims to build the confidence and capacity of agencies for a benefit that goes well beyond World Bank-financed projects.”

Bhutan was assessed as having a robust regulatory framework with an independent Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and independent external and internal audit mechanisms, the Royal Audit Authority and the Internal Audit Department. The Royal Government also has a system-wide capacity building program for procurement professionals and invests in their continued development.

Thimphu Thromde will be reviewed every two to three years to ensure they still meet the minimum standards for alternative procurement arrangements.

“The World Bank’s new Procurement Framework is designed to modernize the Bank's policy to reflect the ongoing, dynamic developments in the contemporary procurement environment that countries and the Bank now face”, said Robert Hunja, Director for the Governance Global Practice, World Bank. “Thimphu Thromde is a great example of the kind of outcome we would like to continue to see.”

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