This is a robust web based mechanism; developed on the premise that ICTs can be effectively used to encourage, promote and support citizens participation in the Public Procurement process; in a way that achieves the objectives of a transparent, accountable and efficient public procurement system; one which delivers value for money, increases the quality of public services delivered, ultimately reducing poverty, increasing socio-economic development and the dignity of life for citizens.
Organization(s) The Public and Private Development Centre
Organization Type(s) Non Governmental Organization; Civil Society Organization
Primary thematic focus - entry window Contract monitoring to enhance openness accountability and effectiveness of public contracts
Sub-thematic focus Use of ICT to improve performance of procurement systems
Sector(s) Public sector especially MDG focused public sectors
The use of a central web-based mechanism to collate, analyze and make sense of feedback from procurement monitors spread across Nigeria is an innovative way to ensure that the objectives of accountability and transparency in the procurement process are achieved; because it provides evidence based reports to enforce compliance
The Procurement Monitoring Portal Observatory was developed to support citizens monitoring of the Nigerian Federal procurement process in a way that achieves the statutory objectives of transparency and accountability; by providing the media, regulatory and oversight stakeholders with evidence based reports that will be used in detecting early warning signals of procurements that are likely to fail and providing information for compliance with practices set up to ensure optimal delivery of services and infrastructure. However there were challenges; one of which was/is that few CSO’s have technical knowledge, skills and resources required to monitor procurement, with an uneven geographical distribution of CSOs with the needed capacity. CSO procurement monitors therefore, needed a central mechanism to collate, analyze and make sense of feedback from the various monitoring activities. Results of monitoring are needed to support the oversight functions of the regulators, Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) and also the legislature.
Against this background, the procurement portal observatory, a robust web based analytical tool, is being developed mainly to:
The procurement portal observatory has been innovatively designed with careful thought and consideration to the needs of the various stakeholders in the procurement process including:
In its development, advocacy and capacity building to various stakeholders (CSOs, professionals, the regulators, public procurement officers, legislators) was held. This was to ensure that they were able to use the system to meet their information needs, that the design framework meets the information needs of various stakeholders and can be scaled up.
The portal is broadly categorized into:
The descriptive pages are mainly for information receiving and sharing. Access is open to the general public and they include regular website tab displays and an open source library.
The participatory, analytical and technical pages on the portal are focused on generating procurement reports, offering online procurement training and providing procurement-related legal advice and access is restricted to verified procurement monitors. To ensure that procurement information can be reported with uniformity, a standard checklist was developed based on the benchmarks in the Public Procurement Act and in consultation with representatives from the various identified stakeholders.
To ensure shared ownership and synergy with existing development programs, this project set up an independent Advisory board for the Portal. The board is made up of representatives from the development sector, regulators, the media and legislature. The board taps into the wide experience of its members to ensure that the Portal remains relevant to all stakeholders. As implementation progresses, the reports from the portal are providing early warning signals of procurement failure in specific Ministries. Monitors are freely posting reports of wrongdoing and non-compliance to this forum where regulators themselves are. Also, summarized analysis of reports from the portal is being sent to regulators. This supports the regulator’s early intervention and the legislators to prevent wrong-doing; thus improving budget implementation.
The portal is a work in progress.
The project has:
Author's Organization Public and Private Development Centre (www.procurementmonitor.org)
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