The World Bank (WB) sit set to give Bangladesh a loan of $55 million dollars to digitise the monitoring of the country's annual development programmes and to improve public procurement performance.
To this end, a deal was signed between the two parties on Tuesday, says a report of BSS citing an official release.
Economic Relations Division (ERD) Secretary Kazi Shofiqul Azam and WB Country Director for Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal Qimiao Fan sign the deal on the behalf of their respected sides at ERD.
The Digitising Implementation Monitoring and Public Procurement Project (DIMAPPP) will help Bangladesh to expand electronic government procurement (e-GP) to all public sector organisations.
It will also help improving the capacity to monitor implementation of development projects and programmes using digital technology.
"This project is a testament to the government's commitment to expand digitisation to all public procuring entities as well as to monitor development programmes and projects," said Qimiao Fan.
In Bangladesh, annual expenditure on public procurement amounts to over $7 billion in recent years, representing 70 per cent of the annual development programme,
Since 2002, the WB has been helping Bangladesh improve its public procurement system, and in 2011, the WB supported the rollout of e-GP in four key procuring entities.
Currently, about 35 per cent 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 per cent of contracts were awarded within the initial bid validity period, versus only 10 per cent in 2007. The effort has significantly reduced inappropriate bidding practices at decentralised 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 programmes by digitally connecting all public sector organisations, combined with a nationwide expansion of the e-GP system.
"DIMAPP will institutionalise electronic procurement and digitise the monitoring of development projects and programmes to expedite project implementation and enhance transparency of the spending of public resources," said Kazi Shofiqul Azam.
The credits are from the International Development Association (IDA), the WB's concessional lending arm. The credits are interest-free and repayable in 38 years, including a six-year grace period, and carry a service charge of 0.75 per cent.