Online bidding helps save 9% of cost: experts

Wednesday, 2018-08-08 18:03:17
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Experts discuss measures to improve the operations of the Vietnam National E-Procurement System at the first Vietnam E-Government Procurement Forum, which opened in Hanoi, on August 8. (Photo: NDO/To Ha)
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NDO - The savings accrued in online bidding is up to 9%, which is quite high compared to 6% of the cost savings if the bidding was conducted through the normal procedures, experts have said.

Economists and experts gathered at the first Vietnam E-Government Procurement Forum, which opened in Hanoi, on August 8, by the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

This is the first forum to be held after six years since the launch of the Vietnam National E-Procurement System (VNEPS) to discuss measures for improvement of the management, technology and operational policies of the system in the future.

According to the National Online Bidding Centre, in the first seven months of 2018, nearly 9,000 packages applied for online bidding, reaching a size of approximately VND20 trillion and the figure for the whole year is expected to reach roughly 15,000 packages.

During the six years of VNEPS implementation, a total of 23,000 bidding packages have been made online. The rate of online bidding also increased from 5% in 2016 to 11% in 2017 and 18% in the first half of this year.

Experts argued that the Vietnam e-government procurement system, the core platform through which the entire process from publishing the plan for contractor selection, sending bidding invitations, receiving bids and announcing the winners, helps to promote openness, transparency, competition, fairness and economic efficiency in the bidding.

In particular, online bidding can reduce negative behaviours such as cheating or interruptions occurring during the process. When participating in online bidding, information on the number and identity of bidders shall be kept confidential before the bid opening.

According to the online bidding schedule stipulated in Decision No. 1402/QĐ-TTg dated July 13, 2016 by the Prime Minister, by 2025, 100% of the bidding information must be publicly posted on the system; 100% of procurement activities must be conducted through online bidding and at least 70% of tender packages within the scope of the procurement law must be implemented on the national bidding network.

This is a difficult target to accomplish without the joint efforts from the ministries, sectors and localities concerned, as well as strong administrative measures. Until now, out of the 119 agencies and units that have to conduct online bidding, there are still 41 that have not implemented any package yet.