Developing countries can improve public services through fair, open procurement practices

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GTY_lagos_nigeria_tk_140507_16x9_992.jpgOrganisations continue to face considerable obstacles, linked to transparency, efficiency and other ills of government procurement systems around the world, a new World Bank Group report finds.


Such obstacles negatively affect the ability of small and medium sized organisations to do business with governments, says the Benchmarking Public Procurement (BPP) 2016 Report, which assesses public procurement regulatory systems in 77 economies.


The public procurement market, globally, is estimated at around US$9.5 trillion each year. Of this, developing countries spend an estimated $820 billion a year worth of citizens funds, about 50 percent or more of their total government expenditure, on procuring goods and services that range from food grains for welfare programs for the poor to wiring for electrical grids that power homes and businesses.


“Public procurement is critical in improving lives and livelihoods when carried out in an efficient and transparent manner. Public procurement, if it is well done, can be a powerful catalyst for improving economic performance and can play a strategic role in delivering more effective public services,” said Augusto Lopez-Claros, Director of the World Bank’s Global Indicators Group, which produces the report.


Of the economies covered by the report, the vast majority around the world are using online platforms to advertise their purchases of goods and services, but often the websites provide little information to prospective suppliers. Furthermore, less than half of them allow bidders to submit their bids electronically.


“Procurement practices that are transparent and efficient benefit all stakeholders. Governments get the best value for money, the private sector thrives and creates jobs, and citizens receive better quality public services. This can help reduce poverty and promote all-round prosperity,” said Federica Saliola, lead author of the report.


The Benchmarking Public Procurement (BPP) 2016 Report was launched at an event hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington D.C.
 

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