EBRD leads the way on project e-procurement

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The EBRD is set to become the first Multilateral Development Bank to offer its clients an e-procurement system to cover the entire project cycle from planning to tendering and award of goods, works and loan-funded consultancy contracts.

The Bank’s new cloud-based online platform, provided by BiP Solutions UK, will replace its current paper-based procedures for invitations to tender, tender documents, clarifications and evaluation reports.

The new system allows suppliers anywhere in the world to register and obtain tender documentation for contracts procured under the Bank’s Procurement Policies and Rules with a few clicks instead of waiting for several days.

Importantly, the system lets suppliers submit an encrypted electronic tender, thereby guaranteeing security and confidentiality, with simultaneous online opening of tenders at the specified closing time with notification of key tender data to all participants.

This removes the current need for courier or hand delivery to the tender box and for a physical presence at a public tender opening. This will greatly speed up transaction time and reduce processing costs for the clients and suppliers, as well as increasing opportunities for competition and improving transparency.

The EBRD’s Procurement Department has been working on this project as part of its “21st Century” modernisation agenda and using its experience of e-procurement reform projects it has conducted with the Legal Transition Team in countries such as Armenia and Bulgaria.

E-procurement systems have been already launched by many of the EBRD’s member countries. Their scope is expected to increase now that the EU Procurement Directive, in force since this February, obliges all contracting authorities to offer electronic submission of offers by September 2018.

The development of an EBRD system is likely only to encourage the further uptake of e-procurement in its region.

“We welcome the opportunity to develop a secure and easy to use service with the EBRD,” said Scott Smith COO of the Global Services Division at BiP. “I believe the EBRD system will be a first for the Development Bank marketplace.”

“We are now working closely with the platform provider to configure their existing system to EBRD requirements and re-draft our standard documentation suitable for an electronic process,” said Richard Gargrave of the Procurement Department.

“This will be followed by a period of testing and the system is expected to go live in a pilot phase before the end of 2014.

“We will be informing Bank’s clients and their suppliers about the changes in the coming weeks and intend to make the system available for all new projects starting in 2015”.

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