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Georgia

Electronic innovations for more transparency and efficiency of Public Procurement (GE0056)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Georgia National Action Plan 2016-2018

Action Plan Cycle: 2016

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: LELP - State Procurement Agency

Support Institution(s): LELP–National Agency of Public Registry

Policy Areas

Capacity Building, E-Government, Fiscal Transparency, Open Contracting and Procurement, Records Management

IRM Review

IRM Report: Georgia Mid-Term Report 2016-2018

Starred: No

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Electronic innovations for more transparency and efficiency of Public Procurement; Transparent public procurement and increasing the level of accountability, elimination of geographic barreers and rising competitiveness in this process is a permanent priority of the Government of Georgia. To achieve this objective, the State Procurement Agency plans to introduce the following innovative projects: Component 1 – Aggregated data on tenders: Starting from December 2010, tenders on public procurement are held only through a unified electronic system (procurement.gov.ge) of public procurement. Around 36000 tenders are announced through this system and this number, as well as many other data tends to increase. The mentioned trend complicates the accumulation and analisis process of information on particular procurement object or tender for the stakeholders. Aggregation of tender data in one space will make the following data easily accessible: - Data on procurement objects, tender types, number of bidders, potential and contract values of a tender, winning bidders, number of disqualified bidders, etc.; - Annual data (data will be located in the machine-readable format (CSV, JSON, XML)). Aggregated data on tender in a new format will allow contracting authorities, interested organizations to participate in public procurement, start-ups and representatives of small businesses and NGO sector to fully analyze the state of the market and make business forecasts. Component 2 - Aggregated data on annual plans of public procurement: Public procurement is carried out in compliance with pre-defined annual procurement plans, registered in the unified electronic system of public procurement – e-Plan module by contracting authority . As for stakeholders, they currently have access only to general information about the annual plan. The planned changes in the electronic module will allow the customer to obtain detailed information on the annual procurement of each procuring organization, and consolidate information on the planned public procurement according to the regions and price. As a result, the representatives of the business sector will have a unique opportunity to obtain information on scheduled procurement, its price and location (region) by one or more entities among 4469 procuring organizations registered in the e-Procurement system by using a CPV code. Additionally, the publication of a list of top procurement objects and their total amount is planned on the official webpage of the public procurement. These innovations will enable better assessment of the market requirements and better planning of the future activities of the business representatives. Component 3 – E-catalogue on the procurement objects and economic operators (e-Market): Establishment of the estimated value of the procurement object is preceded by a market researchconducted by the contracting authorities, which is important for both arranging a concrete tender objectively, and for correctly defining the annual procurement budget while developing the annual plan. Hence, elaboration of an electronic catalogue for key procurement products is recommended, which will: - objectively reflect the market prices; - accumulate prices of various products by economic operators; - reflect information on economic operatorscountrywide, as well as regionwide; etc. This innovation will allow the agencies to plan procurement more efficiently and obtain information on the market prices, economic operators, and conditions in a short period of time at the publicprocurement preparation stage. Maximum data openness will help the procuring agencies to define correctly the estimated price of the procurement object, which will reduce the risks of setting high prices bycontracting authorities, corruption and failed tenders. Introduction of innovations envisaged by these three components ensures transparency, elimination of geographic inequality, enhancement of anticorruption endeavor and support to business in the public procurement process countrywide. Date ofImplementation: 2016-2017; Issues to be Addressed: - Existing information on conducted tenders is extensive; searching and analising of which is long and tedious process; - Information on annual procurement plan of the contracting authoritiesis not well-detailed ; - There is no E-catalogue on the procurement objects and economic operators , which would give current market value of key procurement products. Contracting authoritiesare not provided with unbiased information, which would allow them to define estimated cost of a procurement object. Main Objective: - Ensure more flexibility of the public procurement process for customers including the representatives of contracting authoritiesand business sector; - Support business and increase competition in the publicprocurement process; - Increase participation of citizens and civil organizations both on the central and local level in the monitoring of budget resource spending.

IRM Midterm Status Summary

15. Electronic innovations for more transparency and efficiency of public procurement

Commitment Text:

Transparent public procurement and increasing the level of accountability, elimination of geographic barriers and rising competitiveness in this process is a permanent priority of the Government of Georgia. To achieve this objective, the State Procurement Agency plans to introduce the following innovative projects:

Component 1 – Aggregated data on tenders: Starting from December 2010, tenders on public procurement are held only through a unified electronic system (procurement.gov.ge) of public procurement. Around 36000 tenders are announced through this system and this number, as well as many other data tends to increase. The mentioned trend complicates the accumulation and analysis process of information on particular procurement object or tender for the stakeholders.

Aggregation of tender data in one space will make the following data easily accessible:

  • Data on procurement objects, tender types, number of bidders, potential and contract values of a tender, winning bidders, number of disqualified bidders, etc.;
  • Annual data (data will be located in the machine-readable format (CSV, JSON, XML)).

Aggregated data on tender in a new format will allow contracting authorities, interested organizations to participate in public procurement, start-ups and representatives of small businesses and NGO sector to fully analyze the state of the market and make business forecasts.

Component 2 – Aggregated data on annual plans of public procurement: Public procurement is carried out in compliance with pre-defined annual procurement plans, registered in the unified electronic system of public procurement – e-Plan module by contracting authority. As for stakeholders, they currently have access only to general information about the annual plan. The planned changes in the electronic module will allow the customer to obtain detailed information on the annual procurement of each procuring organization, and consolidate information on the planned public procurement according to the regions and price. As a result, the representatives of the business sector will have a unique opportunity to obtain information on scheduled procurement, its price and location (region) by one or more entities among 4469 procuring organizations registered in the e-Procurement system by using a CPV code. Additionally, the publication of a list of top procurement objects and their total amount is planned on the official webpage of the public procurement. These innovations will enable better assessment of the market requirements and better planning of the future activities of the business representatives.

Component 3 – E-catalogue on the procurement objects and economic operators (e-Market): Establishment of the estimated value of the procurement object is preceded by a market research conducted by the contracting authorities, which is important for both arranging a concrete tender objectively, and for correctly defining the annual procurement budget while developing the annual plan.

Hence, elaboration of an electronic catalogue for key procurement products is recommended, which will:

  • objectively reflect the market prices;
  • accumulate prices of various products by economic operators;
  • reflect information on economic operators countrywide, as well as regionwide; etc.

This innovation will allow the agencies to plan procurement more efficiently and obtain information on the market prices, economic operators, and conditions in a short period of time at the public procurement preparation stage. Maximum data openness will help the procuring agencies to define correctly the estimated price of the procurement object, which will reduce the risks of setting high prices by contracting authorities, corruption and failed tenders.

Introduction of innovations envisaged by these three components ensures transparency, elimination of geographic inequality, enhancement of anticorruption endeavor and support to business in the public procurement process countrywide.

Responsible institution: LELP – State Procurement Agency

Supporting institution(s): LELP – National Agency of Public Registry

Start date: June 2016

End date: December 2017

Context and Objectives

Georgia’s launched its e-procurement system in December 2010, which many consider a global best practice in terms of transparent public procurement processes. The State Procurement Agency (SPA), the main responsible body for running this system, has taken commitments in all three national action plans, demonstrating the Agency’s continued commitment to openness. This specific commitment aims to instill more transparency into the existing system by publishing an aggregated data on tenders, annual plans of procuring agencies and the estimated value of each procurement object as provided by the suppliers.

If fully implemented, this commitment could have a moderate impact on improving public access to procurement data. A transformative reform in this area would entail publishing more details about the simplified procurement that public agencies often use to order an expedited tendering involving large amounts of money based on urgent need and public necessity. This would include providing aggregated data on the number of such tenders, the grounds for simplified procedures, the value of contracts and the annual statistics to make comparisons over the years.[1]

Completion

At the midterm point, the commitment saw limited implementation since its first two components were not completed. In early 2017, World Bank experts made an assessment of Georgia’s public procurement system and found the following: First, there is a high share of direct procurement in public agencies’ procurement activities. Second, there are numerous failed procurement tenders in the regions. Third, there are many exemptions from the e-procurement system on the grounds of urgent need and public necessity. And finally, the available procurement data is not published in open data format.[2] In response to these findings, the SPA pledged to publish the aggregated data on tenders and annual procurement plans in open data format, which is also part of the agency’s commitment to comply with open contracting requirements that would allow citizens to undertake deeper analysis of the available data. With the assistance of World Bank and the United Kingdom Department for International Development (UK Aid), the SPA conducted research and a workshop on Open Contracting Data Standard (OCDS) while later they also developed an action plan.[3]

In June 2017, Transparency International (TI) Georgia, the Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI) and the Georgia Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA) sent a letter to the SPA demanding the prompt implementation of the two components. In their recommendations, these CSOs also asked the SPA to adjust their website to TI Georgia’s existing tendermonitor.ge web platform.[4] They also created a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet visualizing the detailed breakdown of documents they needed to be publicly available, including aggregated data on tenders, direct state tenders, permissions for direct state tenders and public agencies’ annual procurement plans. CSOs asked for this information to be published in open data formats. In their response letter sent on July 12, the SPA said that they are still working on those two components together with the World Bank experts.[5] This was also confirmed by the SPA representative who mentioned in an interview with the IRM researchers that the agency’s IT programmers are testing the technical components of the new system, which is scheduled to be launched by the end of 2017.[6]

The third component of the commitment, an e-Market module, was launched in the fall of 2016. In accordance with SPA guidelines, this new module on emarket.spa.ge aims to help public agencies conduct market research and preliminary preparations before announcing the procurement tender. The e-Market module contains information about suppliers, their products, prices, warranty terms and the shipment location. The module will be updated on a quarterly basis and be complemented with additional data on suppliers and their products.[7]

As of September 2017, emarket.spa.ge includes more than 6,000 data entries and as the SPA representative noted the number of companies providing information about their products is increasing. The SPA wants to expand this module to cover all suppliers. However, the latter do not have the obligation to provide their data and some companies might even be reluctant to share their price lists with their competitors. On a voluntary basis, the companies fill out a special online form and submit it to the SPA.[8] The Agency has a database of all suppliers who are sent individual notifications asking them to fill out these forms. According to the SPA, the companies are eager to provide their data on emarket.spa.ge and are looking at it as an opportunity to promote their products. The SPA, for its part, tries to promote its new e-Market module on its Facebook page as well as during meetings with stakeholders.[9]

Early Results

As mentioned above, the SPA is still working on publishing the aggregated data on tenders and the e-Plan module containing detailed breakdowns of annual procurement plans of public agencies. Outside of the reporting period, in August 2017, the SPA launched the test version of its separate webpage containing aggregated data on tenders conducted in 2015 and 2016 and published in Open Contracting Data Standard. As of September 2017, this webpage includes the following information about 39,026 tenders: number, type, dates and completion status of tenders as well as names and ID codes of procuring entities.[10] However, it has not been promoted to the public and only a handful of stakeholders, such as the IDFI, are aware of its existence.[11] As for the e-Market module, stakeholders said that the public and CSOs rarely use it, mainly because they are not aware of its existence. While it could be a useful new source for CSOs to verify the market prices of different procurement objects, it is still the procuring entities and the suppliers that will benefit most from the e-Market module.[12] The SPA has not yet conducted research to find out how the procuring entities assess the new module and what benefits it brings to them.[13]

Next Steps

According to stakeholders, the most useful part of the SPA’s commitment is publishing the aggregated data on tenders and the agencies’ procurement plans in open data format. They recommend the SPA to move ahead with the implementation process and to publish this data in a way that makes it possible to break it down across different regions and to download it in bulk.

The SPA should place strong emphasis on the following activities:

  • Improve the data quality in terms of completeness and coverage of all five contracting stages from planning to implementation, as per Open Contracting Data Standard
  • Raise awareness about the open data module to engage more users. Take steps to ensure key stakeholders, such as businesses and watchdog CSOs, engage with disclosed data. Following best practice examples of other OGP countries, this can be done through building BI tools, in collaboration with business associations and CSOs

At the same time, the government should limit the number of exemptions from the e-procurement system and introduce a threshold on the value of tenders that can be processed under the simplified procurement rules while imposing additional regulations for the tenders that exceed this threshold. This would prevent corruption and further raise the transparency of the public procurement system.[14] Another recommendation is for the SPA to provide an Application Programing Interface (API) to interested CSOs so the latter link their independent portals, such as tendermonitor.ge, to the official procurement data and generate automatic updates.[15] Regarding the e-Market module, stakeholders recommended developing promotional ads and a public awareness-raising campaign to attract more people to start using this module as a source for analyzing the range of government suppliers and the prices of their products.[16]


[1] Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association, Simplified State Procurement, 2017, http://bit.ly/2jCmTNh.

[2] Giorgi Lomtadze, Research Direction Lead at IDFI, interview with IRM researcher, 18 August 2017.

[3] Mariam Tavdgiridze, Chief Specialist at International Relations Unit of State Procurement Agency, interview with IRM researcher, 10 August 2017.

[4] TI Georgia, Tender Monitor, http://bit.ly/2nZbveE.

[5] Giorgi Nasrashvili, Senior Analyst at Transparency International Georgia, interview with IRM researcher, 11 August 2017.

[6] Tavdgiridze, interview, August 2017.

[7] State Procurement Agency, e-Market module, http://emarket.spa.ge/.

[8] State Procurement Agency, online form, http://bit.ly/2wygkMN.

[9] Tavdgiridze, interview, August 2017.

[10] State Procurement Agency, aggregated tenders, http://bit.ly/2fd2gSq.

[11] Lomtadze, interview, August 2017.

[12] Lomtadze, interview, August 2017.

[13] Tavdgiridze, interview, August 2017.

[14] Salome Sagharadze, Lawyer at Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association, interview with IRM researcher, 19 September 2017.

[15] Lomtadze, interview, August 2017.

[16] Lomtadze, interview, August 2017.


Georgia's Commitments

  1. improved public services

    GE0066, 2018, Capacity Building

  2. citizen engagement platform

    GE0067, 2018, Capacity Building

  3. unified authentication system

    GE0068, 2018, E-Government

  4. economic governance

    GE0069, 2018, E-Government

  5. environment portal

    GE0070, 2018, E-Government

  6. strengthen anti-corruption institutions

    GE0071, 2018, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  7. Monitor SDGs

    GE0072, 2018, Capacity Building

  8. citizen engagement legislation

    GE0073, 2018, Legislation & Regulation

  9. publish court decisions

    GE0074, 2018, E-Government

  10. Increasing transparency of the Ministry of Internal Affairs

    GE0075, 2018, E-Government

  11. citizen participation in public finance

    GE0076, 2018, Audits and Controls

  12. transparent public funding system

    GE0077, 2018, Fiscal Transparency

  13. public procurement improvements

    GE0078, 2018, E-Government

  14. housing policy planning

    GE0079, 2018, Land & Spatial Planning

  15. Openness and accountability of state-owned enterprises

    GE0080, 2018, E-Government

  16. transparency and good governance

    GE0081, 2018, Legislation & Regulation

  17. open data collection and publication

    GE0082, 2018, E-Government

  18. participation for disabled individuals

    GE0083, 2018, Infrastructure & Transport

  19. Participatory budgeting

    GE0084, 2018, Capacity Building

  20. Your idea for the Zugdidi Mayor

    GE0085, 2018, Capacity Building

  21. electronic services

    GE0086, 2018, E-Government

  22. I. Gov. Zugdidi

    GE0087, 2018, Capacity Building

  23. service and citizen satisfaction assessment

    GE0088, 2018, Capacity Building

  24. Promoting and Monitoring SDGs

    GE0089, 2018, Legislature

  25. Citizen involvement in budget

    GE0090, 2018, E-Government

  26. Technology for Transparency

    GE0091, 2018, E-Government

  27. Citizen Engagement Center

    GE0092, 2018, Capacity Building

  28. Raising Public Awareness about Parliamentary Democracy

    GE0093, 2018, E-Government

  29. Electronic innovations for more transparency and efficiency of Public Procurement

    GE0056, 2016, Capacity Building

  30. Starred commitment Adoption of the Environmental Assessment Code

    GE0057, 2016, Capacity Building

  31. Introduction of a mobile app as an alternative channel to connect to “112”

    GE0058, 2016, E-Government

  32. Development of local councils for crime prevention

    GE0059, 2016, Public Service Delivery

  33. Development of a Guidebook for Economic Agents

    GE0060, 2016, Capacity Building

  34. Development and introduction of the quality control program of commercial service

    GE0061, 2016, Capacity Building

  35. Presentation of company reports in an electronic form and provision of their accessibility

    GE0062, 2016, Capacity Building

  36. Introduction of an electronic petition portal and “Zugdidi-INFO” on the webpage of Zugdidi Municipality Assembly

    GE0063, 2016, Capacity Building

  37. Transparency of Ozurgeti Municipality Assembly meetings

    GE0064, 2016, Capacity Building

  38. Creation of Electronic Mechanism for Local Budget Planning in Kutaisi, Ozurgeti, Batumi and Akhaltsikhe

    GE0065, 2016, E-Government

  39. Adapting the Public Service Hall to the needs of the people with disabilities

    GE0042, 2016, Capacity Building

  40. Launch of the unified healthcare system information portal

    GE0043, 2016, Capacity Building

  41. Introduction of electronic licensing system in the field of natural resources application

    GE0044, 2016, Capacity Building

  42. Creation of spatial (Geographic) data web-portal for the energy sector

    GE0045, 2016, Capacity Building

  43. Creation of innovation ecosystem

    GE0046, 2016, Capacity Building

  44. Electronic portal for registering and disposal of State Property – Customer’s Module

    GE0047, 2016, E-Government

  45. Development of the Freedom of Information Law

    GE0048, 2016, Legislation & Regulation

  46. Development of a monitoring and assessment system of the Government policy and legislative acts

    GE0049, 2016, Capacity Building

  47. Starred commitment Introduction of the public officials’ asset declarations monitoring system

    GE0050, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  48. Establishing unified regulations to publish court decisions

    GE0051, 2016, Judiciary

  49. Development of transparency and integrity strategy and action plan in the field of regional development and infrastructure

    GE0052, 2016, Capacity Building

  50. Improvement of the database of the convicted and transfer of the penitentiary department entirely onto the electronic workflow management

    GE0053, 2016, Capacity Building

  51. Publication of phone tapping data according to the nature of the crime and geographic area

    GE0054, 2016, E-Government

  52. Starred commitment Increasing citizen participation in supervision of public finances (Public Audit)

    GE0055, 2016, Capacity Building

  53. "Voice of the Consumer"

    GE0013, 2014, Public Participation

  54. JUSTdrive

    GE0014, 2014, Public Service Delivery

  55. Educational services

    GE0015, 2014, Public Service Delivery

  56. Citizen's Portal (www.mygov.ge)

    GE0016, 2014, Capacity Building

  57. Transformation of public libraries for regional development

    GE0017, 2014, Capacity Building

  58. Digital signature and online authentication

    GE0018, 2014, E-Government

  59. Open data portal (data.gov.ge)

    GE0019, 2014, E-Government

  60. Freedom of information act (FoIA) draft

    GE0020, 2014, Legislation & Regulation

  61. Georgia's OGP forum

    GE0021, 2014, OGP

  62. I-Change.ge

    GE0022, 2014, E-Government

  63. Transparency of public service recruitment

    GE0023, 2014, E-Government

  64. Asset declaration monitoring system

    GE0024, 2014, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  65. Starred commitment Political party financial declarations

    GE0025, 2014, E-Government

  66. Accessibility of Ministry of Interior's webpage to people with special needs

    GE0026, 2014, E-Government

  67. Starred commitment Proactive publishing of surveillance data

    GE0027, 2014, Civic Space

  68. Public awareness of the electoral process

    GE0028, 2014, Capacity Building

  69. Transparency of budgetary processes

    GE0029, 2014, E-Government

  70. Electronic system of procurement

    GE0030, 2014, E-Government

  71. Digital human resource management system

    GE0031, 2014, E-Government

  72. Digital preservation system: E-archive

    GE0032, 2014, E-Government

  73. Openness and accessibility of national archives

    GE0033, 2014, E-Government

  74. Electronic catalogues of Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) archives

    GE0034, 2014, E-Government

  75. Public finance management system

    GE0035, 2014, E-Government

  76. Alternative channels to "112"

    GE0036, 2014, E-Government

  77. Interactive statistics and crime mapping

    GE0037, 2014, E-Government

  78. Travel insurance services

    GE0038, 2014, Citizenship and Immigration

  79. State property registration

    GE0039, 2014, Public Service Delivery

  80. Development of community centers in Georgia

    GE0040, 2014, E-Government

  81. Introduction of e-governance in local self-governments

    GE0041, 2014, E-Government

  82. Public Service Hall-Hub of Public Services

    GE0001, 2012, Citizenship and Immigration

  83. E-Governance in Local Governments

    GE0002, 2012, E-Government

  84. Citizens’ Portal

    GE0003, 2012, E-Government

  85. Easily Accessible and Better Healthcare

    GE0004, 2012, E-Government

  86. Launch Ichange.ge and Data.gov.ge

    GE0005, 2012, E-Government

  87. Platform for Participating in the Legislative Process

    GE0006, 2012, E-Government

  88. Citizens and Justice

    GE0007, 2012, Judiciary

  89. Starred commitment Transparent Party Financing

    GE0008, 2012,

  90. Home-grown concept of E-procurement

    GE0009, 2012, E-Government

  91. E-declarations

    GE0010, 2012, Asset Disclosure

  92. Technology Cares for Safety: ICCMS, Crime Mapping, and Safety in Your Neighbourhood

    GE0011, 2012, E-Government

  93. NGO Forum

    GE0012, 2012, Capacity Building