|Title||:||Citizen engagement in procurement can boost development: Secretary|
The more citizens participate in public procurement, the better will be governance and development.
Mr. Abu Hena Morshed Zaman, Secretary, Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Division, Ministry of Planning, expressed the view while speaking as the chief guest at a workshop on citizen engagement in public procurement contract implementation, organized by CPTU at Jashore Circuit House on 25 November 2021.
Mr. Abu Hena Morshed Zaman said, "We have to ensure everybody in the country practices honesty. Only then this movement for development will spread across the country with the joint efforts of all.”
He mentioned, “BIGD's research has found that women are equally involved in watching public procurement contract implementation. I applaud it.” In his speech on the occasion, the issue of giving incentives to the best citizen group also came up.
Some of the participants observed that the strategy to be formulated by the government for the implementation of citizen involvement in procurement is not the responsibility of any individual but of all.
In order to ensure the participation of all in the procurement activities and to bring perfection, a civic monitoring team has been formed in the upazilas with the people around the work site. Their responsibility is to monitor the progress of the work and to report any irregularities to concerned officers. This group is known as the "Citizen Monitoring Group".
The Central Procurement Technical Unit (CPTU) of the Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Division under the Ministry of Planning is working on the involvement of local citizens in implementation of government procurement in 48 upazilas of the country in phases from 2019 under the Digitizing Implementation Monitoring and Public Procurement Project (DIMAPPP). Brac institute of Governance and Development, Brac University is CPTU's consultant for this purpose.
Under the DIMAPPP, monitoring of contract implementation started in a total of 48 upazilas including 16 upazilas in 2019 in the first year and 32 more upazilas in 2020 from the second year. BRAC's Community Empowerment and Legal Protection (SELP) is collaborating with BIGD in the field.
The participants exchanged their experiences gathered from the field level and sought views of the concerned stakeholders.
Speaking as the special guest, Deputy Commissioner and District Magistrate, Jashore, Mr. Md. Tamijul Islam Khan said, "If everything is done well, it will be possible to prevent corruption. In this case, people can act as a kind of vigilant eye."
Dr. Mirza Hasan, Senior Research Fellow, BIGD, made a presentation titled “Citizen Involvement and Workshop Perspectives in Public Procurement Process”.
In his concluding remarks, the Chair of the program, Mr. Md. Shoheler Rahman Chowdhury, Director General of Central Procurement Technical Unit (CPTU), thanked all those who were present in the workshop. He expressed the hope for a more effective approach in the future. He said that many people point out various problems and limitations in e-GP and procurement process. He assured all that he would take up such issues with higher authorities as much as possible.