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Procurement and Service Delivery : An Overview of Efforts to Improve Governance of Public Procurement at Local Levels in South Asia(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2009-11-01) World BankOver the past decade, the overly centralized governance structures commonly found across South Asia have begun to change, with program and fiscal responsibility being devolved to local level government authorities and community-based organizations. This has led to greater participation of ordinary citizens in governance and public decision-making. The move to localize decision-making creates enormous opportunities for increasing the effectiveness of public spending since it creates the potential for establishing direct accountability of governance mechanisms to citizens. It also raises a number of significant challenges in ensuring that public funds are spent effectively at the local level, and provokes important new questions regarding the manner by which governments can maintain oversight over the quality of assets. This paper provides an overview of the activities supported under the project, with the aim of contributing to a broader perspective on improving governance and service delivery at the local level. The paper is divided into three parts. In part one the authors explore the challenges of spending money effectively at the local level, with a special focus on the governance challenges that exist in public procurement. In part two, the authors explore different approaches to addressing those challenges by discussing innovative work that has taken place with the support of the Project in the areas of regulation, contracting, transparency, and accountability. In part three, the authors analyze some broader themes and key questions that remain to be addressed while developing a strategic research and operational agenda around local level procurement.
Publication(Washington, DC, 2009-11-01) World BankWith the passing of the National Rural Employment Act (NREGA) in 2005, the Government of India established a landmark provision that enables communities to act as watchdogs on local level implementation of the Government's flagship anti-poverty program. While the concept of 'social audits' builds on a great deal of experience in the country, the provisions in the Act have not been translated into clear guidelines. As a result, social audits of NREGA have tended to be driven through 'high impact' approaches led by civil society organizations and have been focused on exposing malpractice rather than improving implementation. This paper discusses an initiative by the centre for youth and social development which sought to explore options to activate the social audit process in Orissa. The design draws on the provisions of the Act with a view to developing a sustainable model for the state. The pilot was conducted in six gram panchayats where the various stages of preparation, committee formation, auditing and reporting were developed. The paper highlights the importance of social audits as an instrument to support implementation, and in particular of raising awareness and ensuring clarity regarding the roles of various stakeholders. Taking this process forward demands a long term perspective, based on collaboration between the government and civil society that can develop the capacities of beneficiaries to ensure effective implementation at the local level.
Publication(Washington, DC, 2007-05) World BankThe assessment focuses on the degree of readiness of Government of The Maldives's (GoTM's) current public procurement environment for making a transition from traditional paper-based, manual methods of procurement transaction processing and communication to electronic government procurement (e-GP). The e-GP Assessment was discussed individually with informed respondents in the public and private sectors, who provided advice or comment on the degree of readiness of nine key components related to e-GP: government leadership, human resource planning, procurement planning and management, procurement policy, procurement legislation and regulation, Internet and electronic infrastructure, standards, private sector integration, and current e-GP systems and initiatives. The assessment found: adequate evidence that Internet and electronic infrastructure are in place and supported, little evidence that government leadership, planning and management, procurement regulation, standards, private sector integration, or e-GP systems are in place and being supported; no evidence that human resource planning, procurement legislation, or procurement policy were in place. This report outlines a strategy to make ready and implement electronic government procurement policies, infrastructure, and initiatives.
Publication(Washington, DC, 2004-06) World BankThis Operational Procurement Report (OPR) provides an assessment of the public-sector procurement system in Kosovo, including that on the legislative framework, the responsibilities and capacity of the institutions entrusted with regulatory and review powers, the efficacy of current procurement practices, and on the environment. The report makes recommendations to bring about legislative, institutional and procedural improvements in the conduct of public procurement, and to bolster the capacity of public-sector institutions to conduct procurement. The report also examines the performance of procurement in projects financed by the Bank, assesses the fiduciary risk to Bank funds from procurement operations in Kosovo, and makes recommendations for the design of procurement arrangements on new Bank-financed projects, and for future supervision of procurement to mitigate that risk. Among the various report recommendations, outlined are the enactment of a transitional legal instrument and completion of the legislative framework for public procurement. Furthermore, greater transparency and accountability of public officials conducting procurement transactions should be ensured, while technical capacity for public procurement should be built within the public sector. Most importantly, over the medium term, the new Law on Public Procurement should be amended.