Towards a Digitized Public Procurement System in Bangladesh

The e-Government Procurement (e-GP) is an online public procurement platform through which bidders conduct their bidding for tenders. At present, 50% of the total volume of procurement in Bangladesh is conducted under e-GP. Exploring its functions and services, we found that e-GP provides significant monetary and social benefits. However, to expand and improve this initiative, the government needs to overcome some of the structural barriers of e-GP.

Researchers: Zeeshan Ashraf

Timeline: 2018-2019

Status: Completed

Contact: Mehnaz Rabbani                                                                                                                                                                  


Working Paper: Electronic Public Procurement in Bangladesh: Bangladesh Priorities


Public procurement refers to the process through which the government obtains all its necessary goods, works, and services. The digitised version of public procurement in Bangladesh is known as e-GP. Interested bidders submit their bids through the e-GP portal. After the expiry date of tender submission, the submitted bids are evaluated and results are published by members of the Tender Evaluation Committee (TEC). Numerous Procuring Agencies (PAs) and Procuring Entities (PEs) in Bangladesh use e-GP for procuring their necessary goods and works. With increasing popularity of e-GP, an extensive valuation of its services can provide necessary information regarding e-GP’s quality and its challenges. This will subsequently help in maintaining its efficiency and provide fair services to all.


The objective of this study was to evaluate the services of e-GP against the investment cost and to explore the challenges of executing e-GP services nationwide.


To estimate the returns on investment of e-GP, we performed a cost-benefit analysis (CBA) and to have a better understanding of its structural challenges, we conducted a political economy analysis (PEA). We collected the relevant data from the World Bank and the Central Procurement Technical Unit (CPTU) official documents. We also interviewed officials from the government including CPTU; World Bank; Roads and Highways Department (RHD), Dhaka; Executive Engineer’s Office, Local Government Engineering Department (LGED), Dhaka; Executive Engineer’s Office, LGED, Rangpur; Upazila Engineer’s Office, LGED, Rangpur; bidders; bank officials; and computer operators.

Findings and Recommendations

From our CBA, we found that the investment of BDT 1 in e-GP leads to BDT 400 returns to the economy, proving that e-GP returns significant monetary benefits. Moreover, from PEA, we also found that e-GP provides considerable social benefits to Bangladesh by enhancing transparency, efficiency, and accountability. However, structural problems, such as the informal collusion between bidders and banks, inaccuracies and irregularities in documents, etc. hinder effective scale-up of this initiative. Furthermore, the influence of local actors and government officials’ lack of digital literacy also pose serious constraints.

To facilitate the successful expansion of e-GP in Bangladesh the manual public procurement system needs to be completely replaced by e-GP. Moreover, with the introduction of a more accurate document verification mechanism, awareness-raising and capability training for government officials and bidders should also be organised to increase their accessibility and use of e-GP.