A seminar titled” Public Procurement and the e-GP system” was held on 26th May to make aware the details of tender participation procedures for women entrepreneurs and how to be a successful tenderer to increase participation of women-owned businesses (WoB) in public procurement. Government procures a vast amount of goods, works, and services every year through public tenders, but the participation of WoB in that respect is very insignificant.
A presentation on public procurement and e-GP system issues was made by Mr Md. Faruque Hossain, Former Secretary and Procurement Policy Consultant, World Bank. He majorly covered public procurement procedures, e-GP system, Tenderer Criteria, Tender Security and validity, Tender Submission, Brief on Standard Document requirements, responsive document preparation etc.
In Bangladesh, about 45% of the budget is spent on public procurement, and the participation of MSMEs is very insignificant. BUILD is working closely with CPTU to bring in some reforms in the Public Procurement Act and Rules so that women entrepreneurs’ involvement increases in the future. It is worth mentioning that the Ministry of Industries will enact a Subcontracting Act 2022, which will ensure open tender and an earmarked amount from the CMSME.
In the open floor session, WEs voiced constraints they face in participating in public procurement, and the e-GP system and Mr Hossain responded to them. He referred to SDG 12 on sustainable production and consumption, in which indicator 12.7 mentioned sustainable public procurement and its implementation, so we would need to talk in this respect.
Mr Shish Haider Chowdhury, Director (Joint Secretary), appreciated the joint endeavour of BUILD for organizing such an important program and ensuring future support.
Ferdaus Ara Begum, CEO of BUILD, moderated the session and informed the participants that in some countries, they simplified PPR policies to increase participation of WE. Citing the example of Chile, she mentioned that women’s participation had been raised by 36.5% with the simplification of policies. She added that WoB could be hired directly for procurement under $600. A similar threshold can also be announced in Bangladesh, she said. Referring to SDG5, she mentioned that we need to adopt and strengthen sound policies and enforceable legislation to promote gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls at all levels.
In total, 54 participants attended the seminar, including representatives from concerned government officials such as MOI, MOWCA, CPTU, etc., and women tenderers and representatives from regional women’s chambers. The participants shared their views and insights regarding increasing the participation of WOB in public procurement.
Enclosed are the press releases (in English and Bangla) for your kind consideration. Please feel free to contact us for any queries.