Friday, 3 December, 2021

Citizens have right to know info on procurement: Mannan

Planning Minister MA Mannan said citizens of the country have the right to know information about government activities and public procurement as people want development and value for money. 

The Minister said, "People want development and at the same time value for money. So, civil society engagement in public procurement should be practiced over time but not by fear. Our Honorable Prime Minister wants to let people know about all government activities."

The Planning Minister came up with the remarks as the chief guest speaking at the 14th meeting of the Public-Private Stakeholders' Committees (PPSC) on public procurement on Thursday. 

Organized by the Central Procurement Technical Unit (CPTU) of Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Division (IMED), Ministry of Planning, and facilitated by the BIGD of BRAC University, the meeting was held at the NEC Conference Room in the city's Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area, said a press release. 

Secretary, IMED, Pradip Ranjan Chakraborty, presided over the meeting. Director General of CPTU and Member-Secretary of PPSC Mohammed Shoheler Rahman Chowdhury made a presentation on the background of public procurement, CPTU activities, and achievements, professionalizing procurement, electronic government procurement (e-GP) and SDGs in public procurement. 

The meeting was organized under the Digitizing Implementation Monitoring and Public Procurement Project (DIMAPPP) being implemented by CPTU with support from the World Bank. 

Dr. Mirza Hassan of BIGD in the meeting made a detailed presentation on citizen engagement in contract implementation stage in 48 upazillas, field findings and achievements. 

Director, CPTU and Joint Secretary Masud Akhter Khan, moderated the meeting. The IMED Secretary said, "We want citizens to raise their voice about public procurement issues. Also, we want your suggestions and comments on the citizen engagement so that we can put up recommendations to the higher authorities for their considerations." 

Secretary of Planning Division, Mohammad Jainul Bari and Secretary Legislative and Parliamentary Affairs Division Md. Moinul Kabir also made some suggestions on procurement issues in the meeting. 

Those who spoke during the open floor discussion included representatives from the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Institute of Business Administration of University of Dhaka, Institute of Architects Bangladesh, Institution of Engineers Bangladesh, Bangladesh Association of Construction Industry (BACI), FBCCI, Economic Reporters Forum, Development Journalists Forum of Bangladesh, LGED, Roads and Highways Department and Comptroller and Auditor General of Bangladesh.

Some PPSC members appreciated the CPTU's plan to make public procurement sustainable by considering life cycle cost, environment, and the needs of SMEs and women entrepreneurs. Some of them opined in favour of having consultation with the community at the design and need assessment level.