DHAKA, August 29, 2017 – The government of Bangladesh today signed an agreement with the World Bank to use digital technology to monitor the country’s annual development programs and improve the performance of public procurement.
The $55 million Digitizing Implementation Monitoring and Public Procurement Project (DIMAPPP) will help Bangladesh expand electronic government procurement (e-GP) to all public sector organizations as well as improve capacity to monitor implementation of development projects and programs using digital technology.
“The Government of Bangladesh has made notable progress in improving public procurement performance, which is key to increase efficiency of public spending,” said Qimiao Fan, World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal. “This project is a testament to the Government’s commitment to expand digitization to all public procuring entities as well as to monitor development programs and projects.”
In Bangladesh, annual expenditure on public procurement amounts to over $7 billion in recent years, representing 70 percent of the annual development program. Since 2002, the World Bank has been helping Bangladesh improve its public procurement system, and in 2011, the World Bank supported the rollout of e-GP in four key procuring entities. Currently, about 35 percent of the annual development budget is executed using the e-GP platform. This has helped improve efficiency of public spending, and reduced procurement delays. In 2016, 83 percent of contracts were awarded within the initial bid validity period, versus only 10 percent in 2007. The effort has significantly reduced inappropriate bidding practices at decentralized level and increased transparency as now all bid invitations and contract awards are published on the platform’s website.
Building on the success of predecessor projects, DIMAPP will support the Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Division under the Ministry of Planning to effectively monitor execution of annual development programs by digitally connecting all public sector organizations, combined with a nationwide expansion of the e-GP system.
“The Government is progressively working towards achieving ‘Digital Bangladesh’ vision, and this is another step forward towards that vision,” said Kazi Shofiqul Azam, Secretary, Economic Relations Division, Government of Bangladesh. “DIMAPP will institutionalize electronic procurement and digitize the monitoring of development projects and programs to expedite project implementation and enhance transparency of spending of public resources.”
The agreement was signed by Kazi Shofiqul Azam and Qimiao Fan on behalf of the government of Bangladesh and the World Bank, respectively, at the Economic Relations Division.
The credits are from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s concessional lending arm. The credits are interest-free and repayable in 38 years, including a 6-year grace period, and carry a service charge of 0.75 percent. The World Bank was among the first development partners to support Bangladesh following its independence. Since then the World Bank has committed more than $26 billion in grants and interest-free credits to the country. In recent years, Bangladesh has been among the largest recipients of the World Bank’s interest-free credits.