Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Thursday, June 29th, 2017

Management and Significance of Procurement System

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Management and Significance of Procurement System

Founding National Procurement Office and Commission is one of the state’s significant achievements in a transparent and responsible campaign against corruption. Within the two past years, this institution has investigated 2,500 procurement contracts with the value of 375 billion AFs – 2100 cases which have been approved includes various construction projects, goods and services.
As a result of this investigation, 18.3 billion Afghanis were economized and the waste of 45 billion Afghanis was prevented. The National Procurement Office blacklisted 120 companies for its violation and corruption. Their cases were sent to judicial organs.
The meetings of the National Procurement Commission have been supervised by domestic and international institutions. Procurement Office, which has been created and managed by the national youths, reveals the youths’ abilities and capabilities. Now the question is that why controlling and managing the procurement system is important?
In 1990s, the public procurement system was considered an economic-strategic activity in the world and its strategic significance has increased, since defects and mistakes in this regard will affect the entire development programs of a country.
According to economic experts, procurement system is in direct and permanent connection with a country’s administrative and economic system. A sound procurement system will lead to economic, social and political stability and pave the ground for business extension, employment and infrastructural facilities in different fields, including health and education.
On the other hand, about 19 per cent GDP and 50 per cent national budget will be spent through public procurement system, which requires meticulous supervision and more control. The problems due to weak procurement system in the past prompted the government to establish a National Procurement Office and Commission under the authority of country’s law with the aim of better service delivery, transparent and effective system, control of public expenditure and anti-corruption campaign.  
To understand the need for National Procurement Office and Commission, first it is essential to know the significance of controlling various contracts and projects for Afghanistan. It is believed that the country’s big challenges such as the issue of administrative corruption, the low-quality projects, delay in implementing the projects, etc. are caused by strong weakness in controlling procurement system in the past.
The study in submitting the projects to various companies in the past shows the projects’ low quality and ineffective and dissatisfactory services to the citizens despite paying large amount of money to the companies. Within the past years, billions of dollars poured in without a tangible result due to corruption and irresponsibility in contracts, which led the world and the nation to lose their confidence in public institutions. Recognizing the importance and status of procurement and contract, the National Unity Government (NUG) targeted the heart of corruption and took high step in this respect.
The National Procurement Commission
The National Procurement Commission is composed of the President, the Chief Executive Officer, Second Vice President, and ministers of Finance, Economy, Justice and the Senior Advisor to the President. President is the head of the Commission. Based on article 54 of the Procurement Law, review and approval of granting the procurement contract – which is outside the mandate of the granting head – taking reports from the granting heads of departments about the implementation of contracts, evaluating the proposals regarding the award contracts, deciding on refusing, restoring or approving contracts, making decision based on the country’s interests, etc. are the responsibility and authority of the Commission.
The National Procurement Office
Based on article 56 of the Procurement Law, the National Procurement Office operates with the aim of: improving procurement system, arranging politics and logistic plan, monitoring the logistic periods, facilitating the procurement, ensuring the quality of contracts in the frame of the General Directorate of the Office of Presidential Affairs and also reports its activities to the Commission.
Institutionalizing systematic, effective and efficient procurement order at local and national level, strengthening the culture of transparency in public expenditure, supporting a safe and transparent ground for procurement services, strengthening a sound competition among the volunteer contract-makers, upholding the rights to data access about procurement, etc. are parts of the 16 objectives of this office. It also has ten principles such as creating transparency and responsibility, fighting corruption, providing justice in providing facilities, etc.
Achievements
From the establishment up to now, the National Procurement Office and Commission had great achievements regarding the reform and improvement in procurement system which are pointed out shortly:
1-Reviving and promoting the trust of the international community about fighting corruption in the current administration.
2-Attracting support from donor countries to spend more through Afghanistan’s national budget.
3-Attracting the support and trust of the institutions fighting corruption at national and international level.
4-Attracting the public trust.
5-Economizing about eighteen and half billion Afghanis in spending over contracts.
6-Preventing the waste of about 50 billion Afghanis.
7-Finding out and boycotting tens of corrupt companies.
8-Paving the grounds for fair provision of economic facilities for all public and private sectors.
9-Establishing and using modern systems and technologies to facilitate procurement services.
10-Boosting national self-confidence and displaying the youths’ abilities.
Considering the role of public procurement in developing economic system, the establishment of National Procurement Office and Commission is a great achievement for the government. Through investigating hundreds of contracts, these institutions have gained great achievements in controlling, monitoring and fighting corruption, economizing and preventing from the looting of public properties, and ensuring transparency.
The current procurement system, which offers services via modern methods, has been appreciated nationally and internationally and gained international trust in fighting corruption and offering effective services.

Zia Danish is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at the outlookafghanistan@gmail.com

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