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PPSC members for easy access for citizens to info on procurement
Thursday, September 08, 2016
Members of the Public-Private Stakeholders Committee (PPSC) have underscored the necessity for free flow of relevant information for the citizens.
They expressed the view that there should be display of clear information in Bangla about the project, tenderer and its specification along with contact numbers at every site of projects executed by government agencies with public funds. If this is done, citizens of the concerned locality can also oversee the works and inform the authorities of any lapses. This will contribute to improvement in quality of public procurement.
The members of PPSC expressed such views at its 10th meeting organized by the Central Procurement Technical Unit (CPTU) of IME Division, Ministry of Planning and facilitated by BIGD at NEC Conference Room on August 28, 2016 with Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal in the chair.
Director General of CPTU and Member- Secretary Md Faruque Hossain moderated the meeting. Secretary of IME Division Farid Uddin Ahmed Chowdhury, Secretary of LGD Abdul Malek, Lead Procurement Specialist of World Bank Dr Zafrul Islam were present and spoke in details about citizen engagement at the meeting of the 43-member PPSC having representatives from the government procuring agencies, business community, institutions/ think-tanks, media and civil society.
Some of the members raised the issue of considering legal provision for citizen engagement in the process of public procurement while most of them strongly advocated for third-party monitoring at the grassroots for greater transparency and accountability.
The PPSC chair and Planning Minister said, “We must utilize our limited resources to turn Bangladesh into a developed country by 2040 as the target set by our government and for this there should not be any waste in public procurement.
He further said that relevant documents of public procurement should be in Bangla and project director must be present at the site. The concerned agency should display all public information including the specifications in Bangla at the site so that citizen can also see and give their feedback about the quality of the works.
Dr Mirza Hassan of BIGD made a presentation about findings of the piloting of citizen engagement in public procurement at the implementation stage in four upazillas of two districts- Rangpur and Sirajganj.
He said that while doing monitoring by local citizen groups, BIGD also experimented monitoring by site-specific committees in the areas and that too worked well.
Dr Zafrul Islam of WB said that for citizen engagement existing legal framework would do and there is no problem if procurement documents are in Bangla. However, projects funded by DPs can also have English versions.
The chair said that more meetings about citizen engagement need to be held to make recommendations to the government.

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