Transformation in Bank Procurement underway

Progress continues in the World Bank’s ongoing preparations to implembanknotes_640ent a new Procurement Framework in July 2016, an initiative aimed at modernizing procurement under Bank projects to better meet the needs of client countries.

Nearly a year after multiple rounds of detailed stakeholder consultation informed the Board’s approval of, the new Policy, work is ongoing to prepare for launch of the new Policy on July 1, 2016. It provides both borrowers and Bank staff with the tools to better serve the needs and aspirations of Clients and, thus, the mission of the Bank.

How does the new Procurement Framework impact our work?

The overall aim of the new Policy is to enable borrowers to maximize the development objectives of Bank-financed projects and to assist Client countries in building and implementing sound procurement arrangements and institutions to advance their development, while ensuring that acceptable procurement practices are applied to the financial resources provided by the Bank.

Procurement touches many aspects of our work and is essential to achieving results. The new Policy adds to Bank’s core procurement principles – the “Value for money” principle, together with the “fitness for purpose” principle, which are empowered for all procurement by the addition of greater efficiency, options and flexibility in designing project procurement arrangements.

With the new Policy, more choices to select procurement methods are available, including competitive dialogue, negotiations, best and final offers, etc. Furthermore, sustainable procurement policies of countries can now be accommodated in Bank project procurement.

For the purposes of furthering the role of procurement in enabling procurement to support more effectively the operational aspects and development objectives of projects, the new Policy will build into the project preparation process strategic procurement planning. Through the preparation of a Project Procurement Strategy for Development (PPSDs) for each project, the new Policy relies on upstream engagement of procurement in project design while emphasizing flexibility and fit for purpose so that the procurement arrangements take into account each country’s and project’s unique characteristics and context and best serve development objectives.

This approach will be particularly powerful in fragile countries where the Bank’s hands-on expanded implementation support will be offered.

Where appropriate, that strategic planning may include a decision, under the Alternative Procurement Arrangements (APAs) option available under the new Policy, to apply the procurement system of another multilateral development bank or the procurement system of the Borrower itself.

The new Policy will ensure more effective planning and management of project implementation, and strengthen and modernize country procurement systems, through enhanced monitoring of procurement performance. Monitoring processes have been upgraded through the establishment of the Systematic Tracking of Exchanges in Procurement (STEP), the Bank’s new electronic procurement planning and tracking platform.  Through STEP, all documentation submitted to the Bank is archived automatically, making project information tailored and more accessible to key stakeholders (e.g. Task Team Leaders (TTLs), client, procurement specialist).

STEP tracks all procurement projects end to end, to streamline processes, measure timelines, provide benchmarks and support more open data in Bank procurement. The new policy provides the ability to more easily discern and analyze procurement performance, using data provided by STEP.

Other key features of the new Policy include the possibility of enhanced hands on-support in situations of particular need, greater accountability in project procurement through a more elaborated complaint review procedures, and an emphasis on strengthening of countries’ procurement systems.

How are we implementing the Procurement Policy Reform? 

Implementation of the new framework is led by the Global Governance Practice (GGP) with support from Operations Policy and Country Services (OPCS). The GGP and OPCS are collaborating closely on all aspects of the preparations for the launch of the new Policy Framework and report back to Senior Management and the Board.

To date, more than 200 Bank staff members in the procurement family have received training on Key Changes in the new Policy and PPSD. Core Procurement training and information sessions for Task Team Leaders (TTLs) and Project Team members are already being conducted, prioritized for those involved in pipeline projects that will initially adopt the new Policy. To date, almost 40 information sessions reaching nearly 1300 Bank staff and Borrowers have been held.

A second round of training is being rolled out on Application of the New Policy/Value for Money, further complemented by clinics on new and advanced procurement topics. Training materials will include case studies from different regions and will leverage cutting edge industry knowledge and experience.

For TTLs and other operational staff, we will update the Operational Core Curriculum, offer E-learning modules, and face-to-face training, as needed.  We will also offer to Borrowers E-learning materials on the interactive platform, complemented by seminars. “Training of trainers” courses are also being offered for Bank Staff to implement the program globally.

How will we increase awareness about the new policy? 

We know there will be an increasing number of questions about all the options and opportunities available under the new Policy. Anticipating this, we are in the process of executing an internal Bank and external Client outreach program to ensure awareness of the policy reform that builds on the extensive global consultations already undertaken to reach 5,000 people in 100 countries.

The outreach program will consist of targeted information sessions in Washington, DC, and country offices, regular newsletters, as well as multi-media tools such as videos and a website offered in various languages with tailored messages for different stakeholders. A group of key staff equipped with tailored materials will be deployed as ambassadors for the new policy.

We will monitor implementation to identify and convey early wins that can inform and inspire our global stakeholders.

Please join the dialogue about the new Policy and ongoing implementation rollout. You are invited to participate and ask questions in the monthly chats I will have starting next week. We look forward to working with you to update World Bank procurement and make it a more strategic development tool for governments.


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