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.
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 Bank's 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, whos 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).