The Central Procurement Technical Unit (CPTU) of Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Division (IMED) has launched a citizen portal that allows people access to public procurement data, in order to ensure transparency and accountability in the process of public procurement.
Citizens would be able to get updates on different procurement steps in their localities and interact through citizen blogs and social media – connected with this portal. It will enable them to raise their voice and share their observations.
The portal was launched through a virtual ceremony on Wednesday.
"This is a part of the government's commitment to let people know about public expenditures, because people have the right to know how their money is spent," said Abul Mansur Md Faizullah, the outgoing secretary of the IMED.
About 80 percent of the Annual Development Programme and 45 percent of the total national budget are spent on public procurement, said the officials at the event. The CPTU has developed the citizen portal under the Digitising Implementation Monitoring and Public Procurement Project (DIMAPPP) supported by the World Bank.
Director General of CPTU Md Shoheler Rahman Chowdhury chaired the virtual event.
He said, "We have started the journey today, and up-gradation will be a continuous process. We are the citizens' representatives, and it is our responsibility to provide them timely information on public procurement."
The Task Team Leader of DIMAPPP and Senior Procurement Specialist of the World Bank Ishtiak Siddique said, "This is a big step for improving transparency and efficiency in public procurement and contract implementation."
The portal also has extensive provision to analyse procurement data and take policy decisions to improve procurement and implementation performance, he added.
He also said the utilisation of data analytics can help reduce 5 to 10 percent cost in procurement.
Officials at the event said citizens can get information about country-wide procurement of goods, works and services through the portal. The portal also allows customisation or search function through features as sorting or filtering.
Policymakers, officials of procuring entities, experts, researchers and others will be able to download procurement data following the Open Contracting Data Standard (OCDS) to conduct analysis and research work to understand procurement performance.
The Citizen Portal on public procurement is linked to the CPTU website.