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Innovations in Procurement Process and Selection that Lead to Improved Outcomes – Tenderers’ Database Management System

Citation

The online Tenderers’ Database Management System (TDMS) introduced by Roads and Highways Department (RHD), Dhaka, is selected as the Country Winner SAPIA 2017. TDMS captures information and testimonials of tenderers, like post qualification information that, once verified, serves as an easy tool for evaluation process. When similar works and services from similar providers are repeatedly sought, such kind of effort aligned with country’s e-procurement system is very useful for expediting routine procurement. This is the current trend seen in many welldeveloped procurement systems, with nationwide information and performance databanks being created. In that direction, this innovation from Bangladesh is noteworthy. Though the RHD initially designed TDMS for 200 tenderers, it has already captured details of 800 tenderers. 110 evaluations have been completed using TDMS. This serves as an “Online Evaluation Dashboard”, starting from Preliminary Examination, Technical Examination, Tenderers’ List, to Evaluation History and so on. This helps capture previous experience and saves considerable time otherwise required for filling up info by tenderers, and also in manual evaluation of these by procurement entities. For scalability, the Central Procurement Technical Unit (CPTU) of Bangladesh is using TDMS as a pilot and plans to use it system-wide along with the e-GP.



Summary

The Roads and Highways Department of Government of Bangladesh has evolved an innovative Tenderers’ Database Management System (TDMS). The system is innovative because any evaluator can use its database to easily, accurately, and transparently complete evaluation of a tender document within 5-10 minutes. TDMS helps the Procuring Entity as well as tenderers build a repository of information and documents for their own use from anywhere and anytime. Procuring Entity can use data and documents of tenderers from TDMS to meet its information needs about tenderers’ qualification, capability, financial strength, human resource, any litigation, and so on. This leads to improved outcomes for the Roads and Highways Department. The same can also be customized by other departments in the country for their own use.

Challenges Addressed

Collecting data for TDMS was challenging. Tenderers were reluctant in sharing their information with the Roads and Highways Department (RHD). The department arranged workshops in different zones of Bangladesh to encourage information sharing by tenderers who were assured by RHD that their data will be secure and safe Tenderers were told that they will be given their own user



IDs using which they themselves can update their data and ensure their privacy. Finally, the tenderers were convinced, with about 800 of them registering with the TDMS.

Impacts Generated

Already, 110 evaluations have been completed using the TDMS, which is considered a great achievement. Tenderers and Procuring Entity can store and update data and documents in TDMS just as they manually maintain their own file cabinet. They can view and download the necessary information and documents, a facility that is of great advantage to them. The Procuring Entity is able to use data and documents of tenderers from TDMS to meet its information needs about tenderers relating to their capability, resources, financial strength, and litigations, if any, among others.

Level of Innovation

Following are the advantages of TDMS:

• Tenderers and Procuring Entity can view / download necessary information and documents anytime, anywhere from any device having internet.

• Procuring Entity can use information and document repository from anywhere and anytime:

• It has a multistep process for information and documents’ verification to ensure that database in the system is accurate

• Tenderers / users of Procurement Entity concerned can update information and documents into the system at anytime from anywhere. These changes will not be available for further use (such as for evaluation purpose) until they are verified and approved by concerned users of the PE organization

• Evaluator can know the number of pending litigations, value of litigation claim, and percentage of litigation claimed against net-worth

• Evaluator can acquire the completed work list with multiple search options, calculate general experience, and identify specific experience based on evaluation criteria

•  Evaluator can view and analyze on-going works and current commitments with multiple search options

• Evaluator can calculate the value of works in hand within a certain number years (for example, next 3 years) from IFT publication date



• Evaluator can view summary and details of turnover of various financial years and also calculate average Annual Turnover (for example, last 5 years) from IFT publication date

• Evaluator can estimate the average Annual Turnover considering certain best years (for example, best 6 years). This makes TDMS new and innovative.

Replicability

DG, Central Procuring Technical Unit (CPTU), Government of Bangladesh,has given consent to use TDMS for evaluation of e-GP tenders on a pilot basis with the following conditions: a. The system will be under the domain of RHD b. RHD will maintain the security and confidentiality of the system and make it available to tenderers all the time, so that they do not face any problems when participating in the tender c. If there is any conflicting information in TDMS and e-GP, the information provided in the e-GP system shall prevail.


Accordingly, Chief Engineer, Roads and Highways Department, has ordered that:

1. The tender shall be evaluated in the e-GP system with the help of online database system – TDMS.

2. Qualification information and evidences {such as work experience certificates, on-going works list, payment certificates for construction turnover, equipment list (own or rented), personnel list, etc.} of the tenderers, as mapped in the e-GP tenders, must be available in the TDMS, so that the Tender Evaluation Committee (TEC) can evaluate tenders digitally within a short period of time.

3. If there is any conflicting information in TDMS and e-GP, the information provided in the e-GP system shall prevail.

4. A tenderer not having sufficient information in the TDMS system may be evaluated as ineligible.

5. Evaluation Sheet generated by TDMS shall be uploaded into the e-GP system by the TEC.

Scalability and Sustainability

TDMS reduces conflict of understanding and makes turnover calculation easy. However, it requires individual data centre and internet connectivity in remote area or grass-root levels for accessibility to all. Having 24 Hours Help Desk facility is also very important. TDMS can be scaled for every department after customizing it according the department’s needs and can even be used by another country.

Lessons Learned​​​​​​​

TDMS is a unique database for evaluation of tenders.

Presently, it is restricted only to the Procuring Entity (PE) for evaluating tenders. After evaluating the TDMS, if the Central Procuring Technical Unit (CPTU) so desires, it can be customized for other departments and even other countries after modifications as per needs.

TDMS helps save time, makes evaluation of turnover calculation easy, and reduces conflict because of uniformity in understanding.

TDMS enables selection of the best tenderer and its use is already improving outcomes.