#7. Enhance and integrate Bank wide procurement information and tracking systems, in areas that include procurement planning and implementation, time taken at specific steps of the procurement process, and risk identification and mitigation.
Implement and monitor service
standards for turnaround of
procurement transactions on a
homogenous Bank wide basis.
IEG reviewed the extent to which the Bank is equipped to track its procurement transactions and their outcomes, and finds that current procurement tracking systems are not equipped to provide key information needed to monitor the achievement of procurement objectives of economy, efficiency, risk management, transparency or value for money. There is a rudimentary Bankwide procurement tracking system which contains limited information on a subset of contracts. Three separate regional 'tracking' systems have been developed, in response to the lack of a central system, each with different objectives and architecture, and their own merits and limitations. For those regions that do not have a tracking system, practices are diverse. Data are mostly maintained in field offices and it is presently not possible to collect and analyze unified information on many basic procurement process parameters. At a Bank-wide level, efforts have been made to develop individual modules of future system architecture. There is an agenda within OPSOR to integrate aspects of these systems. Yet present blueprints fall considerably short of the Bank's potential. Properly harnessed, such information could not only help ensure that funds are used for intended purposes, but could help the Bank to make informed choices about markets and suppliers and providing management information on the performance of the procurement process. Finally, such data could help increase global market transparency and price discovery - generating information for a wider group of market agents with the potential of getting better value for money not only for Bank projects but also for overall public sector efficiency in client countries, and for other agencies of development.
Timeliness, process efficiencies and delays in procurement have been raised as a prime concern by all participants in the procurement process. IEG's analysis of procurement process efficiency suggests that average time taken overall in the procurement process is long, and due to repeat iterations, much longer than Bank norms. There is a high level of variability in processing times, typically with a 'long tail' of contracts that take considerably longer than average times. There is variation across procurement methods. National competitive bidding, even when prior reviewed, is notably quicker than ICB, and conversely, consultant contract processing through quality and cost based methods is particularly time consuming.
WB: Agree #7. Management is developing proposals to implement a Bank- wide procurement information and tracking system, addressing the issues IEG has identified. Decisions on the timing of Information System changes will need to be taken in the context of evolving fiscal priorities.
Action 7: The development and adoption of a comprehensive Bank-wide procurement tracking system that includes relevant strategic information.
Indicator: Procurement tracking system developed with capacity to provide uniform Bank-wide management data.
Baseline: Several regional based systems, covering different parts of the process and not easily transferrable across the Bank.
Target: Functional requirements of the tracking system completed, business case delivered to ITS and implementation started.
Functional requirements of the tracking system completed by FY14.
Business Case delivered to ITS by FY14..
Implementation of the tracking system - by FY15.
This recommendation requires development and adoption of a comprehensive Bank-wide procurement tracking system that includes relevant strategic information. Management has developed Systematic Tracking of Exchanges in Procurement (STEP), an online system to help the Bank and borrowers plan and track procurement activities under Bank-financed projects. Currently, 333 active projects are using the system with procurement plans uploaded. The list of these projects is attached. There are 270 newly approved projects in the pipeline that will start using STEP when they are effective. The indicators and their measurement methods are described as follows (1) Accredited Practice Specialist (APS) Response Timeliness: The sum of the number of business days between the date in which the Bank receives a request for review from the client until the APS sends a review to the TTL of the project. (2) Bank Client Interaction Timeliness: The number of business days between a client request for Bank action date and the corresponding Bank response. (3) Bank Delay: The number of business days over the standard that each bank client Interaction takes; (4) Bank Process Timeliness: The sum of Bank-Client Interaction Timeliness for all interactions that take place within the procurement activity; (5) Bid Advertisement Timeliness: Number of business days between the notification published date and the bid submission date; (6) Bid Evaluation Timeliness: Number of business days between the bid submission date and the bid evaluation report No objection date; (7) Client-Bank Interaction Timeliness: The number of business days between the date of a bank response date and the date of the following client request for Bank action; (8) Client Process Timeliness: The sum of Client-Bank Interaction Timeliness for all interactions that take place within the procurement activity; (9) Contract Signing Timeliness: Number of business days between the bid submission report No objection date and the contract sign date; (10) Procurement Activity Completion Timeliness: Number of business days between the date in which the Bank receives the first request for review from the client until the last contract end date of any contract associated with that activity; (11) Procurement Activity Preparation Timeliness: Number of business days between the date of the first request for the No objection of given procurement activity and the date of the bid document no objection; (12) TTL Response Time: The number of business days between the date on which the Bank receives a request for review from the client and the date on which the TTL sends a response to the client. The response may be a No objection or a request for further information or other response.
IEG is happy to note the progress and awaits data on the outcomes of the use of this system in improving efficiency and transparency in procurement.
Management has developed STEP, an online system to help the Bank and borrowers plan and track procurement activities under Bank-financed projects. The system is an end-to-end process for recording and monitoring procurement processes for all contracts from planning to contract execution, and it is a critical tool for monitoring and evaluation under the NPF. STEP provides more public information on Bank-financed procurementprocurement lead time by sector/ practice; type of procurement; country; Bank and borrower performance and responsiveness; prior review volumes; and so on. The Procurement Regulations require the use of this system for procurement planning and tracking unless otherwise agreed between the borrower and the Bank in the legal agreement.
Implementation of STEP commenced in FY16. Currently 68 active projects are using the system with procurement plans uploaded, while another 50 projects are in the process of redirection. There are 270 newly approved projects in the pipeline that will start using STEP when they are effective. The target is to have 1000 projects (33% of the portfolio) redirected to STEP by the end of FY17.
Bank staff and borrowers have been trained in the use of the system, and 671 accounts have been established for Bank staff, along with 507 accounts for borrower staff.
STEP currently generates indicators for monitoring procurement performance and risk and is expected to be the main source of indicators for monitoring and evaluation reporting on the performance of the NPF. Such indicators include procurement lead time; the timeliness of the Bank's prior review; the value of contracts procured by country, project, category, etc.; the proportion of contracts implemented on time; and data on complaints received.
IEG is pleased to note the start of the global rollout of its new and standardized procurement metrics under the STEP system, as well as the information it will generate on the bidding. IEG notes that as per Management,
Phase 1 of STEP deployment began in late June 2015 with the launch of STEP in Vietnam and Pakistan. Since then, Regions have started registering Implementing Agencies in STEP. Currently, about 10% of existing Implementing Agencies have registered in STEP. This number is expected to increase considerably after December 2015, when a second round of technical training will be delivered to Regional trainers. The Governance Practice, who is responsible for the implementation of STEP, is putting in place a risk-based implementation strategy to capture all procurement activities for projects with the highest procurement risk/value, by Spring 2016. This will correspond to about 80% of the Bankï¾s lending portfolio (in dollar amount).
The next step would be a review by IEG of the extent to which new and standardized metrics are being generated, and are available for use by Bank procurement management, in an integrated manner across regions.
Management will implement a planning and tracking system to provide data on procurement activities, establish benchmarks, and set performance metrics called STEP. This was presented at the Spring Meetings, with marketing materials already on the web:
STEP will be used to provide much more public information on Bank financed procurement, including how long procurements are taking by sector/practice, type, agency, and country, who's bidding, how much they bid, and the reasons for selection/non-selection.
STEP will be a requirement under the legal agreement and will apply to all procurements financed by the Bank, while the system is mandatory. The information from the system can be used to draw benchmarks on timeliness between different parameters and, for the first time across the Bank, it will be possible to identify bottlenecks (Bank, Borrower, or private sector).