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PublicationProcurement 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. PublicationNepal : Electronic Government Procurement Readiness Assessment and Roadmap(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2007-10) World BankThe assessment focused on the degree of readiness of Government of Nepal's (GoN's) current public procurement environment for making a transition from a traditional paper-based, manual procurement transaction processing and communication to electronic government procurement (e-GP). Some 20 public and private sector organizations, involved in a wide range of functions that relate to public procurement, provided comment on the degree of readiness of nine key components related to e-GP: leadership, human resource planning, procurement planning and management, procurement policy, legislation and regulation, Internet and electronic infrastructure, standards, private sector integration, and current e-GP systems and initiatives. The assessment found: adequate evidence that an e-Tendering system is in place but is little used; some evidence that procurement legislation and procurement planning is in place and being supported, and that some procurement training has been conducted; and limited evidence that leadership, human resource planning, procurement management, regulation, and Internet infrastructure services are in place and being supported. The Roadmap sets out the features for a comprehensive e-GP service including e-Tendering, e-Purchasing, e-Reverse Auctioning, and a Procurement Information and Management System. PublicationKosovo : Operational Procurement Review(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. PublicationPeru : Restoring the Multiple Pillars of Old Age Income Security(Washington, DC, 2004-01-26) World BankIn this report, the components of a national retirement security system are categorized - as "pillars", or as "tiers" according to their objective. This is in marked contrast to other publications that categorize the branches of a pension system in accordance with who administers them (the public or private sector); how are benefits structured (final-salary defined benefit formula, or defined contributions); or, their financing mechanism (pay-as-you-go, or full funding). Thus, the term "first pillar" or "pillar one" refers to that part of a pension system intended to keep elderly out of poverty; "second pillar" or "pillar two" to that part intended to help individuals smooth consumption over their life-cycle, i.e., to prevent a dramatic fall in income at retirement time; and, "third pillar" or "pillar three" to the instruments, and institutions available on a voluntary basis for workers to increase their income in old age. This report intends to explore, and present policy options to extend formal protection against old age poverty risks, at a fiscally sustainable cost, and aims as well at restoring the multiple pillars of formal old age income security. The report reviews the current pillars of Peru's retirement security system, grown weak, and by and large, has failed to diversify the risks to old-age income. The public branch of the "second pillar" still threatens the Government's fiscal stance, and constrains management of the economy. The private branch is costly, risky and administered by a private oligopoly. The "third pillar" of voluntary savings, and insurance instruments is weak, costly, lacks transparency and fails to complement benefits from the mandatory pillars. The report takes a comprehensive approach in its analysis of Peru's retirement security institutions, and, is divided into five sections. Following this introduction, Section II presents the dimensions of Peru's vulnerability to poverty in old age, by examining the nature of the risks to income from ageing in Peru. The section continues with a look at how well Government administered and/or mandated pension plans are covering these risks. Section III provides the institutional background, reviews reforms to formal social security institutions in the 1990's, and the progress achieved, and, examines the serious problems remaining. Section lV presents an analysis of proposals for reforms to each branch of the retirement security system, while Section V concludes by presenting policy options - some straight forward measures, while others, deeper, more controversial reforms - consistent with meeting the stated objective of extending protection against poverty in old age, in a fiscally, sustainable manner.