Electronic Procurement to improve audits


To improve the government’s procurement process Ministry of Finance (MoF) has begun implementing a pilot program on Electronic Government Procurement (EGP).
The government hopes this will improve the way they obtain equipment. The process has been also criticized by the partners like the World Bank, because it has been subject to corruption.
MoF says they have already purchased the network equipment they need additional hardware and software is in the bidding process. At the same time the experience of other countries that have better knowledge about electronic procurement has been looked at, according to HaJi Ibsa, Public Relation Head of MoF. They have already examined four countries’ experience.
About 70 percent of the government’s budget has flowed to procurement. Therefore, it’s concerning that it is one of the areas that experiences the most audit discrepancies. The Office of the Auditor General has reported many problems. First the EGP will be implemented in a pilot level during the current budget year in selected government offices.
The scheme would cut direct connection in the procurement process, while some challenges like skilled labour and related technological problems could become issues.
The government has stated that it is interested in expanding electronic trading and has even invited companies to start operating in the country. Alibaba has recently expressed an interest in starting its electronic market in Ethiopia.
To improve their ease of doing business ranking, public procurement is expected to be improved. Work in this area may be extended until 2020 since the World Bank will come up with new programs in this area.
The Ministry has tried to implement the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) which is also designed to increase clarity in government offices. However, that program failed to meet expectations.
Since the implementation process, which has taken eight years so far, only 52 public offices have been integrated under IFMIS. However in the past budget year 78 additional offices started using IFMIS, which is an automated method that enhances efficiency in planning, budgeting, procurement, expenditure management and reporting in Ethiopian government offices, supported by international partners.