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Sri Lanka

Local Authority Procurement System Implementation (LK0011)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Sri Lanka National Action Plan 2016-2018

Action Plan Cycle: 2016

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Local Government Authorities

Support Institution(s): Ministry of Provincial Councils and Local Government & Procurement Commission; Federation of Sri Lankan Local Govt. Authorities

Policy Areas

Legislation & Regulation, Open Contracting and Procurement, Oversight of Budget/Fiscal Policies, Public Participation, Subnational

IRM Review

IRM Report: Sri Lanka End-of-Term Report 2016-2018, Sri Lanka Mid-Term Report 2016-2018

Starred: No

Early Results: Did Not Change

Design i

Verifiable: No

Relevant to OGP Values: Civic Participation Public Accountability , Technology

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Timeline: August 2016- June 2018

Local Authorities are the closest governance entity to citizens providing essential services from “Womb to tomb”. The services provided by Local Authorities are financed by transfers from the Central and/or Provincial Governments or from revenue generated by the Local Authorities. The procurement procedure in the Local Authorities is generally guided by the system that is universal to all state entities. Nevertheless the difference is that Local Authorities are legally an incorporated body that has a legal identity and status of an independent unit, hence the procurement procedures can only be supervised and guided not mandated and enforced. Local Authorities are responsible for most of the medium to small scale infrastructure development activities that are taking place at village and city levels including improving thoroughfares, markets, crematoriums, parks etc. In addition, there are many services that are delivered to citizens including waste management, libraries, free clinics, recreation facilities, which are procured by the councils independently.
In terms of procurement, currently there are two systems that are being followed i.e. direct award and tender process to procure goods and services and both these methods are done with the approval of the councils. As per the 19th amendment to the Constitution, chapter XIXB a “Procurement Commission” was established and accordingly per clause number 156 (H) the Commission is vested with the powers to formulate fair, equitable, transparent, competitive and cost effective procedures and guidelines, for the procurement of goods and services, works, consultancy services and information systems by government institutions and cause such guidelines to be published in the Gazette and within three months of such publication, to be placed before Parliament.”
Therefore, under the purview of the “Procurement Commission” it is essential to develop guidelines for Local Authorities to ensure that a transparent and accountable procurement system is implemented. In addition, this guideline needs to provide space for suitable members including representatives from Civil Society to represent in procurement committees established in the councils to minimize malpractices and to be accountable for total procurement processors. 9. Implementation and Monitoring the New System – by all Local Authorities (Monitoring by Commissioners/Assistant Commissioner office of Local Govt.) and civil societies through 'citizens report cards'. New Jan 2018 onwards
10. Establish a transparent grievance redress mechanism to be operative in 3 concurrent forms – online, a telephone hotline and through an ombudsperson in all three languages
New June 2017

IRM End of Term Status Summary

11. Implementation and Monitoring of Local Authority Procurement System

Commitment Text:

Transparent and Accountable Procurement System for Local Authorities in Sri Lanka (B)

[…]

Main Objective:

Establish a transparent and accountable procurement system for local authorities (introduce citizen monitoring of implementation and establish a grievance redress mechanism).

Milestones:

  • 1 Implementation and Monitoring the New System – by all Local Authorities (Monitoring by Commissioners/Assistant Commissioner office of Local Govt.) and civil societies through 'citizens report cards'
  • 2 Establish a transparent grievance redress mechanism to be operative in 3 concurrent forms – online, a telephone hotline and through an ombudsperson in all three languages

Responsible institutions: Ministry of Provincial Councils and Local Government (MPCLG) & Procurement Commission

Supporting institutions: Local Government Authorities, Federation of Sri Lankan Local Government Authorities

Start date: August 2016....... End date: June 2018

Editorial Note: The text of the commitment was abridged for formatting reasons. For full text of the commitment, please see the Sri Lanka National Action Plan 2016–2018 at http://bit.ly/2wv3jXR. [140]

Commitment Aim:

An extension of Commitment 10, this commitment aimed to strengthen local authority procurement of goods and services with provisions for accountability. This would also help to minimise cases of malpractice and corruption.

Status

Midterm: Not Started

This commitment was not started by the midterm.

Despite positive steps, the Ministry of Provincial Councils and Local Government (MPCLG), the Procurement Commission, and Parliament, had not finalised the procurement guidelines (see Commitment 10). As a result, related stakeholders could not begin monitoring implementation (Milestone 11.1), or establishing a grievance redress mechanism (Milestone 11.2). [141]

End of term: Not Started

Implementation of the commitment had still not commenced by the end of term. Neither MPCLG, the Procurement Commission, nor Parliament finalised the procurement guidelines, and thus this commitment is not completed. [142]

According to a civil society representative from the Federation of Sri Lankan Local Government Authorities (FSLGA), no further activities related to implementation of Commitments 10 or 11 could begin until a gazette notification containing the guidelines was published. [143] The FSLGA representative noted, however, that the draft guidelines did contain an explicit provision for a public grievance redress mechanism. The draft procurement guidelines specify that complaints pertaining to procurement by local authorities could be taken to the Commissioner for Local Government at the provincial level. [144]

Did It Open Government?

Civic Participation: Did Not Change

Public Accountability: Did Not Change

As implementing stakeholders did not finalise the procurement guidelines, this commitment could not be completed and, thus, did not contribute to opening government.

As indicated in Commitment 10, the absence of clear guidelines to direct the process of procurement by local authorities heightened the potential for malpractice and corruption. [145] This commitment aimed to address this by introducing a) a mechanism for monitoring implementation of the procurement guidelines, and b) a grievance redress mechanism for citizens to hold local authorities accountable on the procurement of goods and services.

Carried Forward?

Sri Lanka’s second action plan was not released by the time of this report.

In the 2016–2017 IRM midterm progress report, the IRM researcher recommended adopting measures to improve the framing of this commitment and, thereby, strengthen its impact. These include: training local authority representatives on how to adhere to the new procurement guidelines and operate the grievance mechanism; and enhancing citizen engagement in the procurement process. Engagement could include social audits, procurement committees, or opening up procurement decisions for public comment.

For more information, see the 2016–2017 IRM midterm progress report.

Contingent on completion of Commitment 10 (the publication of procurement guidelines for local authorities), the IRM researcher reiterates the pertinence of adopting such measures, and recommends this commitment be carried forward.

[140] In the action plan, the milestones under this commitment are included as part of a single commitment that broadly seeks to establish a transparent and accountable procurement system for local authorities. However, for purposes of clarity, this report separates the evaluation of milestones that pertain to the preparation and publication of procurement guidelines (see Commitment 10) and the evaluation of milestones that pertain to monitoring of implementation and grievance redress (Commitment 11).

[141] S. Boralessa (Ministry of Provincial Councils and Local Government), interview by IRM researcher, 27 September 2017; Hemanthi Goonasekera (FSLGA), interview by IRM researcher, 22 September 2017.

[142] Hemanthi Goonasekera (FSLGA), interview by IRM researcher, 17 September 2018.

[143] It is the primary responsibility of the Procurement Commission to submit the guidelines for approval by Parliament. After having received parliamentary approval, the Procurement Commission must formally gazette the guidelines in order for them to become legally binding.

[144] Goonasekera, interview.

[145] Goonasekera, interview, 22 September 2017.


Commitments

  1. Integrity Officers to Decrease Bribery and Corruption

    LK0024, 2019, Capacity Building

  2. Asset Declaration System

    LK0025, 2019, Asset Disclosure

  3. Increase Use of RTI

    LK0026, 2019, E-Government

  4. Citizen Participation in Health

    LK0027, 2019, E-Government

  5. Campaign Against Youth Drug Use

    LK0028, 2019, Education

  6. Open Data

    LK0029, 2019, E-Government

  7. Agriculture Support Policy

    LK0030, 2019, Capacity Building

  8. Participation for Persons with Disabilities

    LK0031, 2019, Land & Spatial Planning

  9. Disability Rights Bill

    LK0032, 2019, Legislation & Regulation

  10. Disaster Management Planning

    LK0033, 2019, Capacity Building

  11. Nationak Environmental Policy

    LK0034, 2019, Environment and Climate

  12. CEDAW Implementation

    LK0035, 2019, Capacity Building

  13. Local Service Delivery

    LK0036, 2019, E-Government

  14. Feedback on Public Bus

    LK0037, 2019, E-Government

  15. Implementing UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in a Participatory Manner

    LK0038, 2019, Legislation & Regulation

  16. Improving Public Access to Preventive and Curative Strategies to Combat Chronic Kidney Disease

    LK0001, 2016, Health

  17. Transparent Policy to Provide Safe and Affordable Medicines for All

    LK0002, 2016, Capacity Building

  18. National Health Performance

    LK0003, 2016, Capacity Building

  19. Ensuring Transparency and Impartiality in Teacher Recruitment Policy and Process in Sri Lanka

    LK0004, 2016, Capacity Building

  20. Enhance the Services of Government Information Center (GIC- 1919) for Inclusive, Transparent, Accountable and Efficient Governance, Using ICT As Enabler

    LK0005, 2016, Capacity Building

  21. Promote the Open Data Concept and Delivering the Benefits to Citizens Through ICT

    LK0006, 2016, Capacity Building

  22. National Environmental Act (NEA) Amendments

    LK0007, 2016, Capacity Building

  23. Coast Conservation

    LK0008, 2016, Capacity Building

  24. Flora and Fauna Protection

    LK0009, 2016, Capacity Building

  25. Transparent and Accountable Procurement System for Local Authorities in Sri Lanka

    LK0010, 2016, Capacity Building

  26. Local Authority Procurement System Implementation

    LK0011, 2016, Legislation & Regulation

  27. Annual Work Plan of the Ministry of Women and Child Affairs to Include a Transparent and Accountable Process to Implement Selected Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) Concluding Observations.

    LK0012, 2016, Gender

  28. CEDAW Implementation – Accountability

    LK0013, 2016, Gender

  29. CEDAW – Inclusion

    LK0014, 2016, Gender

  30. Strengthening Women Participation in the Political Decision Making Process at the Local Level

    LK0015, 2016, Capacity Building

  31. Strengthen the Anti-Corruption Framework to Increase Constructive Public Participation

    LK0016, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  32. Implement UNCAC

    LK0017, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  33. Coordination Among Anti-Corruption Agencies

    LK0018, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  34. Corruption and Money Laundering

    LK0019, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  35. Campaign Finance

    LK0020, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  36. Disseminate Asset Declaration

    LK0021, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  37. Starred commitment The Enactment and Implementation of the RTI Act

    LK0022, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  38. Proactive Disclosure

    LK0023, 2016, Legislation & Regulation