Electronic Government Procurement (e-GP) system has reached a new landmark of 4 lakh electronic tenders as the number reached 400,110 on Wednesday.
The total value of the tenders was Tk410,000 crore said source at the Central Procurement Technical Unit (CPTU) of the Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Division (IMED) of the planning ministry.
Mohammed Shoheler Rahman Chowdhury, director general of the CPTU, said the government is reaping benefits from nine years of continuous efforts to reform the public procurement system.
He said the CPTU is working to introduce Electronic Contract Management System (E-cms) which will digitally manage the whole procurement process beginning from the announcement of tender to payment of the successful bidders finishing the work.
Currently the e-GP system is used only to call tenders electronically and to support procuring agencies in preliminary evaluation of the proposals.
Planning Minister MA Mannan told The Business Standard that the e-GP system has revolutionised the public procurement system.
Now bidders can submit tender documents from anywhere in the world, while influential people once barred other firms from bidding.
"The electronic system harmonised the tender system and helped to ensure the best value of the government money by reducing corruption," said the minister.
MA Mannan also said each and every law and system has some weak points. The e-GP system also has some weaknesses, but the government is working to strengthen it.
The sources at the CPTU said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina formally launched the e-GP Portal in 2011 as part of the process of digitalising public services.
The online tendering was piloted in 4 large procuring agencies, which were the Local Government Engineering Department, Roads and Highways Department, Bangladesh Water Development Board and Rural Electrification Board.
Building on the success of piloting, the CPTU started implementing e-GP across the government procuring agencies from 2012.
Among 1365 government procuring agencies in the country, 1,343 agencies are registered with the e-GP system. Currently 74,395tenderers are registered with the e-GP.
Both the procuring agencies and the tenderers embraced the ICT based digital procurement system as it has reduced physical hassles and saves time and costs.
About 80 percent of the Annual Development Programme and 45 percent of the National Budget are spent on public procurement.
The World Bank has provided technical and financial support to introduce and operate e-GP system in Bangladesh.
The multinational donor agency said in a recent report that an estimated $600 million has been saved in between 2012 and 2018 as the result of the e-GP implementation.
Average procurement time decreased from 93 to 59 days in case of Open Tender Method (OTM) from 2011 to 2019. The bidding environment has also improved significantly compared to manual tenders, said the World Bank based on a survey of bidders.