The use of Electronic Government Procurement (e-GP) System will be made compulsory from January next year.
During the launch of the system on Thursday, Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay said the e-GP has no excuse to fail and it has to succeed. “If it fails, it is because of the government, because we are the largest procurer in the country,” said Lyonchhen. “We have about 4,200 contractors, 15,000 suppliers, 380 consultancies. They should be eager to use e-GP. The fact that we are launching should come as good news to them.”
Lyonchhen said the system will be piloted until January 2018 when it will be made compulsory. During the pilot phase, the Prime Minister said every effort will be made to train all the users especially in the private sector to feel comfortable with the system.
Lyonchhen also said that they will improve the system and make it robust and ensure security. “We will incorporate e-payment and ensure digital signature. We will train users in the private sector and by January first of 2018 , let all of us- contractors, suppliers , consultants and the government – hold hands and launch it a 100 per cent,” he said.
On the issue of people not knowing how to use the system, Lyonchoen said that when people can use Facebook, they should be able to use e-GP. “From 690,000 mobile subscribers, 23.2GB data in the last 24 hours were used for Google and mostly for YouTube. About 12.2GB were used for Facebook,” Lyonchoen informed those attending the launch.
The Electronic Government Procurement System or simply e-GP is a web based portal maintaining complete and up-to-date public procurement activities of all public agencies. It also provides tender opportunities to potential bidders from within and outside the country.
A Bangladeshi software firm, Dohatec New Media, has won the contract to develop the e-GP at a cost of Nu 10.7 million in partnership with local IT firm New Edge Technology. The World Bank and Asian Development Bank have provided the support.
The new e-GP will allow all users to submitted their tender documents from anywhere around world. Dohatec chairman said that the system is highly secured in government data center in Thimphu.
However, all bidder and procurement agencies have to register to participate in the bidding process. In a way, the government’s annual procurement plan and entire life cycle will be made to follow. The entire procurement process until the signing will be done online.
Bidders will be able to avail the service and download the tender documents free of cost round the clock. The system will also ensure that the procuring agencies will have to strictly comply by its timeline.