Case study of Finance Ministry’s South Asia Procurement Innovation Award

Wednesday, 21 February 2018 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

A case study on path-breaking reform, submitted by the Department of Public Finance of the Ministry of Finance and Mass Media, was felicitated for the Best Country Case Story at the South Asia Procurement Innovation Award 2017-2018 during the fifth South Asia Region Public Procurement Conference, which was conducted from 5-8 February in New Delhi.

The fifth South Asia Region Public Procurement Conference was held under the theme of ‘Public Procurement and Service Delivery’. The conference was hosted by the Ministry of Finance of India and co‐sponsored by the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and Islamic Development Bank. The heads of public procurement of South Asian countries, high‐level government officials responsible for public procurement policymaking, oversight agencies and representatives from several development partners active in the South Asian region were among the participants of the conference.

The South Asia Regional Public Procurement Network (SARPPN) with the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank and Procurement iNET have launched the South Asia Procurement Innovation Awards 2017-18 in partnership with the South Asia Regional Public Procurement Network (SARPPN), Asian Development Bank and Procurement iNET with the objective of enhancing learning and knowledge-sharing from innovative approaches and systems adopted by procurement entities across the region. 

Promoted by all member countries of SARPPN, an overwhelming response of 87 case stories were received from government and public sector organisations, universities, research institutions, NGOs/CBOs, etc. and the submissions were assessed on the basis of the level of innovation, replicability and sustainability. Those entries were on five focal themes, namely market interactions and contributions leading to innovative procurement solutions, use of ICT for procurement management and useful management information, performance-focused procurement reforms and capacity development, innovative procurement and contract management solutions for challenging and fragile environments and citizen engagement in procurement management and oversight. 

Out of 87 case stories, eight winning entries from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Maldives and Sri Lanka were felicitated during the technical sessions of the South Asia Procurement Conference. 

This is the second consecutive year that theCountry Case Story submitted by the Department of Public Finance of the Ministry of Finance has been awarded the South Asia Procurement Innovation Award.

Public Finance Department Director General P.Algama,being the current chair of the conference,accept the awardwith Public Finance Department Director E.A. Rathnaseela.

The innovative Case Story submitted under the focal theme of ‘Public Procurement and Service Delivery’ by the Department of Public Finance of the Ministry of Finance which won first prize is described below:

The Government of Sri Lanka has implemented a large number of infrastructure development projects during past decades. Some of the projects so implemented received criticism from society and experienced scope change, delays, cost overruns and disputes. This situation resulted in incurring additional costs, prolongation of social and environmental impacts during construction, depriving the general public of the use of infrastructure facilities for years and also underutilisation of local and foreign funds. Insufficient capacity in project management and contract management skills, including skills in contract and project administration, dispute resolution within Project Management Units have been identified as key contributory factors. The absence of an adequate comprehensive guide to project and contract management has become the main reason for this situation. Therefore, the Ministry of Finance has intended to streamline project and contract management activities in order to minimise the implications on project implementation. 

Organisations in both the public and private sectors are facing increasing pressure to reduce costs and improve financial and operational performance. New regulatory requirements, globalisation of markets, increases in contract volumes and complexity of projects have resulted in an increasing recognition of the importance and benefits of effective contract and project management.

The growing recognition of the need to reengineer and improve contractual processes and satisfy increasing compliance, analytical and better outcome needs has also led to the adoption of more formal and structured project/contract management procedures and increase in search for  guides that clearly explain procedures, guidelines and standard formats comprehensively designed to address these needs.

Hence, the introduction of the ‘Guide to Project Management and Contract Management’ (GPMCM) with the technical assistance of Asian Development Bank (ADB) is a timely response to a long-felt need. The draft GPMCM was presented to various professional organisations and groups representing the construction industry and related government agencies including the Construction Industry Development Authority (CIDA) and their observations and suggestions for improvements have been incorporated into the preparation of the guide. Several workshops were conducted to invite comments and suggestions from various stakeholder organisations and also to make them aware of the importance and practicality of this guide. 

This GPMCM was put into practice with effect from February 2017 under the directives of the Secretary to the Treasury. This GPMCM is currently available on the website of the Ministry of Finance. This guide, templates and forms can be filledonline and are downloadable free from the Ministry of Finance’s website