QUETTA: A five-day training was organized by Balochistan Public Procurement Regulatory Authority with the financial and administrative support of Governance and Policy Project (GPP) Balochistan.
According to Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Managing Director BPPRA, the Authority has set certain targets, including adding value for the money, efficacy, and ensuring utmost transparency and fairness in public procurement and spending of public funds for each category of goods & services and the works sector of government departments or autonomous entities.
Since the number of DDOs in the government is far too high, BPPRA has taken a multi-pronged approach to train as many officers as possible in the shortest amount of time. Batch-based training for government departments has been underway since November. It may be noted that six batches have received hands-on training on the new system so far. Each batch consisted of 20-25 officers from various departments. Electronic Public Procurement System (EPPS) is the name of the e-procurement system. BPPRA has also announced Divisional Level Workshops in order to increase the number of trained procurement professionals on EPPS.
In the 5-days long training, the topics covered were: Introduction to the system, EPPS user registration, preparation of electronic bid using UNSPC Codes, submission of Bids, the online opening of the bids, online evaluation of bids, and awarding the tender. These training sessions are being conducted by the well-trained and highly professional staff of BPPRA including Ghulam Jan Naseer, Mubashir Ali (MCIPS), Engr. Muhammad Laique Tariq, Jahanzeb Malik (MCIPS), Abdul Hameed Buzdar, Ahsanullah, and others. According to the key trainers of the training, different techniques and steps were introduced to the trainees on a day-to-day basis. The participants were informed that BPPRA has also developed a parallel system that can be used for testing, training, and practice purposes. Hence the entire process of bidding, tendering and procurement can be practiced in real-time.
The concerned officers and other officials responsible for bidding and procurement in their respective departments were provided with the accounts and IDs made in their respective names. However, in case of transfer to another station, the new replacing officer can request for the same account to be transferred in his/her name.
Furthermore, the Balochistan cabinet has also given approval for EPPS, though initially for procurements of works over Rs. 50 million, good over Rs. 5 Million, and services & Consultancy over Rs. 1 Million, however, sooner than later, all of the projects irrespective of the cost will be assimilated into this setup. Meanwhile, the PSDP of the upcoming budget is going to be subsumed in this system.
In order to minimize the influence of ineligible contractors, the system has the capacity to reject in case they do not meet the criteria. It will further ensure that the bid will be awarded to an eligible contractor. Hence, it will add value to the money and ensure fairness in the process.
MD-BPPRA Mr. Mujeeb Ur Rehman Panezai also interacted with the participants and the trainees. It was observed that they are happy with this system as the system is user-friendly, many of the time-consuming manual processes are now digitalized and the system guarantees fairness for awarding the bids. Through these training sessions, BPPRA also analyzes areas of improvement in the system and incorporates suggestions in the system accordingly. This is the first procurement authority in Pakistan to launch an e-procurement system in the country and hopes that rest of the country will follow suit.