Proposal – Strengthening the Public Procurement Process
As a panelist on the upcoming GES 2014 session ‘Fighting Corruption in a Multipolar World’, Mark Lovatt recommends the establishing of rules for government procurement process, in order to improve transparency and accountability. Mark will be presenting alongside Klaus Abbink, Abu Kassim Mohamed, Olajobi Makinwa and Astrid Tuminez. Ted Fishman will be moderating.
by Mark Lovatt
Public procurement is essential to ensure high and sustainable economic growth. When done well, it results in the awarding of contracts to companies which deliver maximum value to the public, and improves the level of wellbeing for society as a whole. However, public procurement has always been highlighted as a high risk area for corruption, where government processes are prone to manipulation to the advantage of influential individuals for personal gain.
It is therefore imperative to embed transparency and accountability measures into public procurement processes. Such measures would allow for greater public oversight, which in turn would prompt government officials to be more prudent and efficient in managing public projects.
Measures should include:
- Publication of all Government purchasing through e-procurement portals
- Allowing bidders to review the results of awards prior the decision being made public, with a mechanism for bidders to challenge the results within a set timeframe
- Publish detailed information on awarded contracts within a short period following the award
Enhancing transparency in these ways will strengthen the procurement process and help deliver better value for money for the taxpayer. The savings from introducing the measures would far outweigh the costs arising, making the system self-funding.
Dr. Mark Lovatt is the Business Integrity Programme Manager for Transparency International Malaysia.