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Citizen engagement ‘can boost transparency in public procurement
Wednesday, May 04, 2016
Citizens from various groups made suggestions to include the provision for citizen engagement in relevant stage of public procurement process. They observed that the engagement would enhance quality and fulfill objective of spending public money on the government procurement of goods, works and services.
Such suggestions and observations were made at a workshop titled “How to engage citizens in public procurement” organized by the Central Procurement Technical Unit (CPTU) of Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Division, Ministry of Planning, at Agrabad Hotal in Chittagong city on April 28, 2016 (Thursday).
BRAC Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD), the Social Accountability Consultant under PPRP-II being implemented by CPTU, managed and facilitated the workshop. The CPTU is implementing PPRP-II with support from World Bank.
Farid Uddin Ahmed Chowdhury, Secretary, IMED was present as the chief guest while Abdul Mannan, Member, Socio-Economic Infrastructure Division of the Planning Commission, Dr. Zafrul Islam, Lead Procurement Specialist, World Bank, Dhaka, Aziz Taher Khan, Director (e-GP), CPTU, were present as the special guests with Daulatuzzaman Khan, Additional Deputy Commissioner, Chittagong, in the chair.
Aziz Taher Khan gave welcome address on behalf of the CPTU, IMED. Dr. Mirza Hassan, Team Leader, Social Accountability and Chief Researcher of BIGD, made a presentation during the inaugural session on draft strategy for the piloting of Third-Party Monitoring (TPM) of public procurement in four upazillas of Sirajganj and Rangpur districts.
Procurement officials of various government agencies, tenderers, media, civil society, business chambers and NGOs in Chittagong attended the one-day workshop where they made various suggestions about engaging citizens in public procurement process.
The IMED Secretary during the inauguration said, “It is important to engage citizens in public procurement in order to enhance transparency in its process. The need and the benefits of public procurement both lie with the people.”
The Planning Commission Member said, “We need to take care of public interest in the delivery of services for them. Whatever we do we need to follow rules and maintain diligence and accountability.”
Dr Zafrul Islam said, “Bangladesh is progressing but more needs to be done”. He observed that if all become accountable to their own conscience, then the desired change will take place in the society.
Professor Sikandar Khan of Chittagong appreciated the government initiative for involving people in development activities. He said, “This is very positive that the government has started realizing that development activities for the people need their involvement.”
In the open floor discussion, participants exchanged views about e-GP, PPR and PPA etc. In working session they in three mixed groups prepared their recommendations for citizen engagement and presented before the audience. The Secretary concluded the workshop by saying that these would be presented in a national workshop in Dhaka later.

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