The Public Procurement and Property Authority (PPPA), through its recently introduced modern public procurement platform, Electronic Government Procurement (eGP), is preparing to knit its system with tele birr for its modern payment system of the public procurement venture. The authority has now called upon all suppliers to register to its eGP platform so as to be part of the public procurement.
PPPA announced that the new system which was introduced about a year ago through a pilot of nine public offices is now facilitating the procurement of 73 central government offices and is now working with Ethio Telecom to integrate telebirr with eGP to provide an alternative payment system for the public procurement proceed.
So far, the eGP system has been integrated with banks for payment.
According to Abebe Alemu, Communication Specialist at eGP Project Office, the integration works are being carried out between the two systems for its clients to use telebirr as an e-payment instrument for public procurements.
According to Abebe, in the near future, a memorandum of understanding between the two parties will be signed to realize the operation.
One of the major goals of emplacing eGP on public procurement is to insure transparency and to uplift the benefit of the public. In this regard, using telebirr would have significant opportunities, as Haji Ibsa, Director General of PPPA explains.
He emphasized that using the telebirr platform would increase credibility in the procurement and transaction of goods, services or works for public purchase.
Telebirr which officially commenced operation in the first half of 2021 as a business arm of the state owned telecom giant for its mobile money service has garnered over 24 million customers with over 65 billion birr in transactions.
The integration with eGP will be a new big lucrative advantage for telebirr business since the major portion of government’s budget is spent on procurement.
So far the procurement platform is handling 73 public offices as of April, 2022 and is expected to jump to 125 by the end of the budget year from the total 169 public offices accountable to the central government.
The others that are mostly higher education institutions will be part of the eGP in the process and the next phase will be setting up offices for regional administration.
So far, for those included on the new platform, carrying out procurements through eGP is believed on average to reduce 50 percent of the procurement transaction costs.
The Authority has also disclosed that suppliers who want to be part of the bidding or procurement scheme with public offices ought to register on the portal online.
Haji said that there are 44,000 local and foreign suppliers that are registered on the PPPA system, while as from December 10, only suppliers registered under the eGP system will be allowed involvement on the procurement system for public offices that are registered on the platform.
He called suppliers to register within the given timeframe so as to be active through the modern procurement mechanism.
As per the information that PPPA disclosed, at the current stage about 3,000 suppliers have registered on the eGP platform.
To expand the number of suppliers who are registered on the system, the authority is undertaking different awareness schemes.
For instance it is facilitating an event that will gather at least 1,000 suppliers to speak about the eGP system so as to attract suppliers to be part of the system.
Abebe said that the event that will gather huge crowds is expected to be held on November 8, “different suppliers will attend the session which will help them to get information about the modern electronic scheme and to be involved in it.”
eGP refers to the use of digital technologies to enable a more efficient and transparent exchange of information, and interactions and transactions between government and the business community in the procurement of goods, services and works. E-GP automates and streamlines the end-to-end public procurement process from the preparation and publication of annual procurement plans, managing the various tendering activities, and administration of contracts.
On the way to modernize the government procurement with eGP lack of willingness to perform procurement operation via the new platform, lack of commitment from the leadership at public offices and low human resource and infrastructure have been a challenge besides limited awareness about the system among the business entities.
In Ethiopia up to 70 percent of government’s annual budget is allocated to public procurement, while public procurement takes up 14 percent of the GDP.