Illicit money and Illicit power are badly influencing public procurement. The procuring entities are facing various challenges during implementation of projects, especially at field level. Absence of a proper monitoring system of public procurement is one of the reasons, for which Bangladesh cannot ensure proper implementation of projects and its quality.
Mr Kamal said the prime minister has the directive regarding citizens' engagement. There should be identical colour and signboard with description of all development projects; he suggested referring to the PM's instruction. Ruling out various objections about projects of the government, the minister said no project plan is approved without feasibility study and much discussion. "First we see whether the project is in conflict with the 7th five year plan," he said, adding, needs assessment is of course done for any project. "If we can start this practice, this will bring benefit and no harm," he said.
Chief procurement specialist of the World Bank, Dhaka Zafrul Islam said citizens' engagement is a new concept although it was thought to be a buzz word a few years back. He noted that citizens' engagement in projects can ensure good governance. There are problems at grassroots level while implementing policy-level decisions, he said. It is necessary to know what the field-level people think about projects and awareness should be created among the field-level officers, he added.
Among others, Md. Faruque Hossain, Director General, CPTU; Syed Rashedul Hossen, Deputy Secretary, Finance Division, Ministry of Finance; Md. Mahmudul Hoque, Joint Secretary, IMED; Md. Rois Uddin, Additional Secretary, LGD,; Md. Nazrul Islam, Member, Planning Commission; Md. Fazlur Rahman, Director Programme, DPE; Brig. Gen. Md. Parvvez Kabir, Director, CMSD; Munshi basher Ahmed, Director, Project Planning, PDB; Mohammad Eklas Uddin, Director of Finance, EWU, Abdul Ahad, Director, Finance and Admin, TIB and Engr. S M Khorshed Alam, Vice President, BACI also shared their observations and suggestions at the meeting.
PPSC is largely focusing on the key sectoral ministries and targeting their implementing agencies, including Roads and Highways (RHD), Local Government Engineering Department (LGED), Rural Electrification Board (REB) and Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB). The PPRP-II has four components: 1) furthering policy reform and institutionalizing capacity development, II) strengthening procurement management at sectoral level and Central Procurement Technical Unit (CPTU)/ Implementation Moni-toring and Evaluation Division (IMED), III) introducing e-Govern-ment (e-GP) behavioural change communication and social accountability.
‘We are committed to ensuring the welfare of the citizens of this country, and therefore, our activities, however small or big, should reflect that dedication in serving the people,’ said A.H.M Mustafa Kamal FCA, Honorable Minister, Ministry of Planning and Chairperson of Public Private Stakeholders Stakeholders Committee (PPSC) in its 10th meeting on August 28, 2016 at the NEC Conference room, Planning Commission, Sher-E-Bangla Nagar of the capital. He further added that all project related documents will be in Bangla going forward, with English translations available in case foreign individuals are involved in any project. The meeting was organized by the BRAC Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD) of BRAC University and hosted by the Central Procurement Technical Unit (CPTU).
Architect Jalal Ahmed of the IEB; Mustafa Jabbar, BASIS; Rezwanul Alam, TIB; Towfiqul Islam Khan, CPD; Anwara Begum, BIDS; Syful Kabir, IBA, and Dr. Tapash Kumar Biswas, PKSF, were other PPSC members who attended the meeting. Dr. Zafrul Islam, Lead Procurement Specialist, World Bank and the core BIGD team of the Social Accountability Component of PPRP II were present during the meeting. Among others, the meeting was attended by other members of the PPSC, which included high officials from LGD, LGED, ERD, PWD, BPDB.
Anwara Begum of BIDS, suggested that women be encouraged to take part in project monitoring. Dr. Zafrul Islam encouraged the use of social media for better monitoring of project activities. Syful Kabir, IBA, suggested the formation of a central monitoring committee on top of local Citizen Committees. Mr. Nasiruddin Khan of ERD, expressed his belief that citizen engagement can bring about greater transparency and accountability. Before the open discussion, Dr. Mirza Hassan presented briefly on the progress of the pilot and shared important findings from the field.
PPSC is formed under the auspices of the Public Procurement Reform Project-II (PPRP-II) with representatives from the business community, think tanks, and civil society organizations along with senior government officials, to institutionalize external monitoring and citizen engagement in different stages of public procurement. The committee was reconstituted recently, increasing the number of PPSC members from 27 to 43, to engage in high-level policy dialogue which will contribute to development of strategic goals regarding procurement reform at field level and generate discussions at different national and regional forums.
BIGD is providing the technical assistance to the CPTU, IMED to help design and implement the social accountability mechanism that aims to institutionalize and develop a third party monitoring system in the public procurement process in the country. Md. Faruque Hossain, Director General, CPTU, moderated the meeting.
BIGD-CPTU Contract Signing Ceremony to implement PPRP II (Extension phase) held
Mr. Md. Faruque Hossain, DG, CPTU; Mr. Zafrul Islam, World Bank; Mr. Md. Shahid Ulla Khandaker, IMED; Dr. Sultan Hafeez Rahman, ED, BIGD, &
BIGD, BRAC University and the Central Procurement Technical Unit (CPTU) under the Implementation Monitoring & Evaluation Division (IMED) of the Ministry of Planning (MoP), came together at a ceremony on July 23, 2015, to officially sign the contract for the Public Procurement Reform Project (PPRP) II, under which BIGD will act as the Social Accountability Consultant to help design and implement the social accountability mechanism that aims to institutionalize and develop a Third Party Monitoring System (TPM) in the public procurement process in the country. Based on the lessons learned from the phase II of PPRP, and in consultation with CPTU and the World Bank, BIGD has reformulated the existing Public-Private Stakeholders Committee (PPSC). It will also help ensure effective functioning of the committee so that it can provide policy inputs to strengthen the public procurement system of the country. At the same time, it is responsible for implementing a public procurement monitoring and accountability mechanism by engaging citizen groups as a third party in the public procurement system. This will include selecting an implementing partner in the field level and to build their capacity in public procurement issues so that this agency can ensure TPM engagement in the procurement system at the local level.
Mr. Md. Shahid Ullah Khandaker, Secretary of IMED; Mr. Md. Faruque Hossain, Director General of CPTU; Dr. Sultan Hafeez Rahman, Executive Director of BIGD and Ms. Parveen Akther, Director of CPTU were present during the ceremony. Dr. Zafrul Islam, Lead Procurement Specialist, The World Bank; Mr. Md. Nasimur Rahman Sharif, Deputy Director and Mr. Shafiul Alam, Communication and Social Awareness Consultant, both from CPTU; Md. Rafiqul Islam Talukdar and Ms. Kaneta Zillur from BIGD were also present at the signing ceremony.
PPRP-II is being implemented to ensure sustainability of the procurement reform programme. CPTU/IMED is the key implementing agency for the project while the sectoral target agencies are responsible for implementation of procurement management and monitoring actions at the agency level. The objective of the Second Public Procurement Reform Project in Bangladesh is to improve performance of the public procurement system progressively in Bangladesh, focusing largely on the key sectoral ministries and targeting their implementing agencies.
Scholars and top executives from BRAC and BRAC affiliated institutes attended a consultation meeting organised by BRAC Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD), BRAC University, held on May 24, 2016 at the BRAC Centre Inn, Dhaka.The purpose of the meeting was to share the key features of BIGD’s draft Strategic Plan 2016-2020 with fellow colleagues from BRAC family and incorporate their feedback.
BIGD Executive Director Dr. Sultan Hafeez Rahman welcomed the distinguished participants and shared a brief overview of the draft strategic plan. Dr. A. Mushtaque Raza Chowdhury, Member, Advisory Council, BIGD, and Vice Chair, BRAC moderated the session. Followed by a presentation on the strategic plan, the participants provided their observations, inputs and feedback through different sessions i.e group work and Q/A.
Among others, BIGD senior staff participated at the meeting.
Initiated in early 2015, the draft Strategic Plan has been prepared through a series of consultations i.e. in-house retreat and internal meetings, consultations with stakeholders etc. From now up to July, 2016, few more consultations are planned with various stakehold groups before the Strategic Plan is finalized by July.
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