The World Bank’s ambitious new procurement framework, the product of three years of work and extensive consultation, officially went live in July. Now all new projects use the new system.
The procurement reform process, which officially started in 2012, was designed to address concerns raised by businesses, staff and borrower countries about the policies for buying goods, works and services with bank-financed loans.
Approximately 5,000 stakeholders were consulted as part of the process and 13 issue areas were identified as needing to be addressed.
These included the bank’s tendency to award contracts on the basis of lowest price as opposed to best value — meaning quality, warrantee, design aspects, service and other factors were potentially not being taken into account. Another issue was a call for the bank to move toward a more country-specific model which relies more on national procurement systems. Businesses had also complained about the complaints process, and staff had complained the procurement process took too long.