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Mongolia

Make Government Procurement Process Transparent (MN0031)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Mongolia Action Plan 2016-2018

Action Plan Cycle: 2016

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Central Government Authority

Support Institution(s): Government Procurement Agency, All ministries and agencies; World Bank, SCO and Private Sector

Policy Areas

Anti Corruption and Integrity, Anti-Corruption Institutions, E-Government, Fiscal Openness, Open Contracting and Public Procurement, Public Participation, Public Procurement, Publication of Budget/Fiscal Information

IRM Review

IRM Report: Mongolia End-of-Term Report 2016-2018, Mongolia Mid-Term Report 2016-2018

Starred: No

Early Results: Marginal

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Status quo or problem addressed by the commitment: Mongolia has made significant achievements regarding making the government procurement process transparent to the public; this comes as a result of actions and initiatives spearheaded by the Ministry of Finance and Government Procurement Agency (GPA). Progressive changes were made in the Law on Purchasing and Procuring Goods and Services for Government and Local Resources in 2011 and 2014 and started using the online platform to make procurement processes transparent to the public. GPA is currently working on to create an online system to provide an opportunity for the public to receive information to support the productive engagement of this pool. The World Bank requested that the Ministry of Finance and GPA align this initiative with an International initiative on Open Contract Data Standards and that all stakeholders cooperate on this matter. Main Objective: Make government procurement processes transparent to the public Brief Description of commitment (140 character limit): Fully introduce the international initiative of Open Control Data Standards to government procurement activities

IRM Midterm Status Summary

10. Promoting transparency of public procurement process

Commitment Text:

Fully introduce the international initiative of Open Contracting Data Standards to government procurement activities.

Status quo or problem addressed:

Mongolia has made significant achievements on regard to making the government/budget procurement process transparent to the public; this comes as a result of actions and initiatives spearheaded by the Ministry of Finance and Government Procurement Agency (GPA). Progressive legal changes were made into the Law on Purchasing and Procuring Goods and Services with the State and Local Resources and Budget in 2011 and 2014. Started using an online platform to make procurement processes transparent to the public.

GPA is currently working on to reform the online system in order to make the procurement process fully open and transparent, and also to increase accessibilities for citizens to get information, and to encourage citizens’ constructive engagement and participation. The Ministry of Finance and GPA requested the World Bank to support to align their initiative on the procurement with the Open Contracting Data Standard, an international initiative for open government etc. Therefore the parties do cooperate on this matter.

Main Objective:

Make government procurement processes transparent to the public.

Milestones:

10.1. Openly disseminate invitations to participate in bidding for government procurements and inform process and outcomes of the bid through the online procurement platform.

10.2. Monitor whether rights and obligations of the ordering party are implemented by clause 46.1.9, article 46 of the Law on Purchasing and Procuring Goods and Services with Government and Local Resources.

10.3. Disclose annual procurement plans, reports and assessments of the general budget managers to the public.

Responsible institution: Central Government Authority responsible for budget and financing issues

Supporting institutions: Government Procurement Agency, all ministries, and agencies, the World Bank, CSOs, and Private Sector

Start date: 30 June 2016

End date: 30 June 2018

Context and Objectives

This commitment aims to make government procurement processes more transparent to the public by introducing the Open Contracting Partnership’s Open Contracting Data Standard.[Note98: For more information on the Open Contracting Data Standard, see: http://standard.open-contracting.org/latest/en/.] More specifically, it plans to 1) openly disseminate invitations, processes, and outcomes of bids for procurement, 2) monitor the effectiveness of Article 46.1.9, of the 2005 Law on Procurement of Goods, Works, and Services with State and Local Funds,[Note99: Law of Mongolia on Procurement of Goods , Works and Services with State and Local Funds, available here: http://crc.gov.mn/contents//en/raw/12/30/24/7._Procurement.pdf.] and 3) disclose to the public budget managers’ annual procurement plans, reports, and assessments. In doing so, the commitment continues the theme of disclosing procurement contracts that began with Commitment 3.3.1.8 from the previous action plan, which called for the disclosure of procurement contracts above 80 million MNT.

The dissemination of information on the bidding process for procurements and the disclosure of annual procurement reports and assessments make the commitment relevant to the OGP value of access to information. The commitment’s activities are mostly verifiable, although there are some important details missing in each of the milestones. For example, it is unclear how the effectiveness of Article 46.1.9 of the Law on Procurement of Goods, Works, and Services with State and Local Funds will be monitored. Therefore, the specificity is marked as medium. The open dissemination of bidding invitations and awarding of procurement and the disclosure of annual procurement plans, reports, and assessments are important initiatives toward greater transparency in government procurements. However, without greater details on how the Open Contracting Data Standard will be introduced to government procurement processes, it is likely the commitment will not have greater than a moderate potential impact on transparency in Mongolia.

Completion

The Mongolian government publishes procurement tenders, contract amounts, participating bids, and results on the e-procurement website, http://www.tender.gov.mn. However, this website already existed by the end of the previous action plan period (June 2016). The IRM asked the government to specify how the website has changed since that time, as well as the extent to which the Open Contracting Data Standard has been fully introduced. For more details, see Section VI: Methodology and Sources. According to a 2016 UN report on Mongolia’s public procurement framework, the procuring entity must post the tender invitation through nationwide daily newspapers and other forms of mass media.[Note100: United Nations, 'Review of the Public Procurement Legal Framework of Mongolia,' August 2016, http://www.un-page.org/files/public/mongolia_legalreview_final_1.pdf.] However, the extent to which these invitations, annual procurement plans, and budgets are openly disseminated to the public is unclear.

Next Steps

Going forward, the IRM recommends that the government provide an update on its progress toward implementing this commitment. If it is not fully implemented during the current action plan period, the IRM recommends incorporating this commitment into the next action plan. In particular, publishing each step of the contracting process and creating a feedback mechanism for engaging stakeholders in the planning and awarding of procurement contracts would be a major step forward for transparency in Mongolia.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

10. Promoting transparency of public procurement process

Commitment Text:

Fully introduce the international initiative of Open Contracting Data Standards to government procurement activities.

Status quo or problem addressed:

Mongolia has made significant achievements on regard to making the government/budget procurement process transparent to the public; this comes as a result of actions and initiatives spearheaded by the Ministry of Finance and Government Procurement Agency (GPA). Progressive legal changes were made into the Law on Purchasing and Procuring Goods and Services with the State and Local Resources and Budget in 2011 and 2014. Started using an online platform to make procurement processes transparent to the public.

GPA is currently working on to reform the online system in order to make the procurement process fully open and transparent, and also to increase accessibilities for citizens to get information, and to encourage citizens’ constructive engagement and participation. The Ministry of Finance and GPA requested the World Bank to support to align their initiative on the procurement with the Open Contracting Data Standard, an international initiative for open government etc. Therefore, the parties do cooperate on this matter.

Milestones:

10.1. Openly disseminate invitations to participate in bidding for government procurements and inform process and outcomes of the bid through the online procurement platform.

10.2. Monitor whether rights and obligations of the ordering party are implemented by clause 46.1.9, article 46 of the Law on Purchasing and Procuring Goods and Services with Government and Local Resources.

10.3. Disclose annual procurement plans, reports and assessments of the general budget managers to the public.

Responsible institution: Central Government Authority responsible for budget and financing issues

Supporting institutions: Government Procurement Agency, all ministries, and agencies, the World Bank, CSOs, and Private Sector

Start date: 30 June 2016

End date: 30 June 2018

Editorial Note: This is an abridged version of the commitment text. For the full commitment text from the Mongolian National Action Plan, see: https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Mongolia-NAP2-Final-Eng_0.pdf

Commitment Aim

This commitment aimed to increase transparency of government procurement processes through stronger alignment with Open Contracting Data Standards. This includes the online dissemination of invitations to participate in bidding processes for procurements and the proactive disclosure of annual procurement reports and assessments.

Status

Midterm: Not Started

The Law on Purchasing and Procuring Goods and Services with Government and Local Resources [60] defines the state’s obligations on transparency in the procurement of goods and services.

In line with this law, the Mongolian government published procurement tenders, contract amounts, participating bids, and procurement outcomes on an e-procurement website, http://www.tender.gov.mn, prior to the introduction of this commitment. The procuring entity also posted tender invitations through nationwide daily newspapers and other forms of mass media. No progress had been made towards launching the commitment, and no additional features had been introduced to the e-procurement website (Milestone 10.1 - 10.3).

For more information, please see the IRM 2016-2017 Progress Report. [61]

End of term: Limited

Invitations to participate in bidding for government procurement and information around related processes and outcomes continued to be published through the online procurement portal (http://www.tender.gov.mn) (Milestone 10.1). Information on planning, bidding, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation was also found on http://www.shilendans.gov.mn and http://www.burtgel.gov.mn, and was supplemented by a government order to regulate such processes in a timely manner. The Ministry of Education, Culture, Science, and Sports announced that all their procurement would be conducted via the e-procurement system by 2018. [62]

In 2017, the Government Agency for Policy Coordination on State Property created a revamped webpage of http://www.tender.gov.mn, to publish tender open data in machine-readable format, in accordance with the Open Contracting Data Standards. [63] The portal contained a list of government procurement contracts starting from 1 January 2018, and the number of bidding announcements published had increased since the start of the action plan period. However, key information on contracts was not always available.

According to Clause 46.1.9, Article 46 of the Law on Purchasing and Procuring Goods and Services with Government and Local Resources, mandatory disclosure of the following is required of the contracted party: the works and services, their location, the price charged, and the timeline for completion. [64] Monitoring of the observance of this clause had not been published at the end of term (Milestone 10.2).

The Government Agency for Policy Coordination on State Property uploaded procurement reports and assessments online at https://www.pcsp.gov.mn/f/20 (Milestone 10.3). However, apart from the unclear functionality of the weblink, more recent reports from regional governments (aimags) and procurement reports from central government ministries and agencies were also not found.

Did It Open Government?

Access to Information: Marginal

This commitment led to increased information being provided on procurement bidding processes, with some, but not all, government agencies beginning to provide information in line with the Open Contracting Data Standard. However, as much of this disclosure predated this commitment, and new disclosure iniatitives remain limited in scope, this commitment only contributed to a marginal improvement in access to information.

Carried Forward?

The commitment is not included in Mongolia’s third action plan.

[58] Ministry of Finance, promotional video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmiyNW6bRbg
[59] OSF Annual report 2017. p 55
[60] Law on Purchasing and Procuring Goods and Services with Government and Local Resources (in Mongolian) https://www.legalinfo.mn/law/details/493)
[61] Independent Reporting Mechanism, Mongolia Progress Report 2016-2017, https://bit.ly/3fjy1qM
[62] Transparency International Mongolia, Business Integrity Country Agenda Mongolia 2018, p 52. http://resource3.sodonvision.com/transparency/file/2018/6/777tu5j5du77p212keb33zd6k/BICA_ENG_FINAL.pdf
[63] Cabinet of Mongolia, Open Data Readiness Assessment, August 2018, https://bit.ly/2W0Yv9d
[64] Law of Mongolia on Procurement of Goods, Works and Services with State and Local Funds, December 2005, http://crc.gov.mn/contents/en/raw/12/30/24/7._Procurement.pdf

Commitments

Open Government Partnership