Feature Stories



Winter 2017 Virtual Procurement, Integrity, Management, and Openness (PRIMO) Forum on Sanctions and Debarment Systems

The Procurement, Integrity, Management, and Openness (PRIMO) Virtual Forum was held on March 20, 2017. The theme was Sanctions and Debarment Systems and their characteristics at the international and country levels. This topic is particularly sensitive and important as around the world, governments are creating and modernizing administrative bodies that can respond to claims of wrongdoing in public procurement or in the use of donor funds. In a world where corruption and misuse of public funds constantly threaten good governance, these bodies are an increasingly important way for governments to safeguard public resources. Many are empowered to impose suspensions, debarments, or other sanctions against companies and individuals, when warranted. They are a crucial component of the global movement to combat fraud and corruption.

This forum was a tremendous success, many participants learned from two debarment systems at the country level and international organization level. The first presentation was given by Mrs. Pascale Helene Dubois, Chief Suspension and Debarment Officer, who presented the debarment and sanctions system of the World Bank and how it impacts The World Bank-financed projects. The second presentation was given by Mr. Kadir Caglar Cetintas who offered a country perspective on debarment systems with the example of Turkey. The Forum was opened by Mrs Hiba Tahboub, Manager Governance Global Practice. Opening remarks were given by Mr. Ed Mr. Ed Olowo-Okere, Director, Governance Global Practice. Mr. Chris Yukins, Lynn David Research Professor in Government Procurement Law and Co-Director, Government Procurement Law Program, the George Washington University Law School and Mr. Majed El-Bayya, Lead Procurement Specialist, Governance Global Practice offered their discussion remarks. The event was moderated by Mr. Hunt La Cascia, Senior Procurement Specialist, Governance Global Practice. Over 60 participants logged in virtually from client counties and international organizations including Armenia, Georgia, Pakistan, Turkey, Romania, Albania, Serbia, Russian, Belarus, EBRD, OCED, IsDB, WB and many more. These participants raised intriguing questions for the presenters which culminated in a rich discussion on the subject.

The Procurement, Integrity, Management, and Openness (PRIMO) Forum is an annual regional forum to convene public procurement officials to foster regional cooperation and knowledge sharing, good governance, and anticorruption with a focus on Europe and Central Asia. The forums offer tremendous ways of communication and knowledge sharing not only between countries, but also with the multilateral development banks on various topics such as Performance of public procurement; Procurement Monitoring and Oversight; Professionalization of Procurement Function, e-procurement etc. The PRIMO Forum is cosponsored by ADB, EBRD, EIB, IsDB. WB and in cooperation with EU, OCED and SIGMA. Every year one country from Europe and Central Asia (ECA) region hosts the PRIMO forum. The 2017 PRIMO forum will be held during the period May 23-25 in Kiev, Ukraine, under the theme “Curbing corruption is public procurement.”

In addition to the face to face PRIMO forum, a virtual forum is held twice a year with a focus on both Procurement and e-Procurement aspects (e-Reverse Auctions, e-Catalogs etc.). The participants have the possibility to attend any by joining a video conference room at one of the World Bank country offices or from their own computers via WebEx, the World Bank’s virtual conferencing platform. The previous virtual forums were a success with many public procurement experts from Europe and Central Asia attending. The virtual platforms triggered a rich dialogue among participating countries.