Feature Stories



World Bank launches new Complaints Module in Systematic Tracking of Exchanges in Procurement (STEP) System


Enzo De Laurentiis, Chief Procurement Officer and Vinay Sharma, Director, Solutions and Innovations in Procurement (SIP) announced the launch of STEP Complaints module which will be available on February 4, 2019.

Effective handling of procurement process-related complaints in World Bank-financed operations is essential to promoting fairness and enhancing integrity in the procurement process. It provides an opportunity for suppliers, contractors and consultants to seek redress if they feel they have been treated unfairly during a procurement process. Addressing such complaints promptly and fairly enhances market confidence in the procurement process, increases participation and competition for contracts, and contributes to value for money in achieving development objectives.

In that regard, we are pleased to announce the launch of the STEP Complaints module for recording and tracking complaints relating to procurement process under Investment Project Financing (IPF) operations which will be available February 4, 2019. The STEP Complaints module supports implementation of the World Bank’s enhanced approach to procurement-related complaints under IPF. Borrowers are responsible for recording such complaints, and both the World Bank and Borrowers will use STEP to track them. This will enhance the World Bank's ability to monitor the handling and resolution of complaints relating to procurement process under IPF operations it finances.

Borrowers will be responsible for performing the following actions in STEP:

  1. Promptly record all complaints relating to procurement process in IPF operations;
  2. For procurement process complaints received on contracts subject to the World Bank's prior review, submit the Borrower's proposed response to each complaint before issuing it to the complainant(s);
  3. Record the Borrower's response to the procurement process complaints upon issuance to the complainant(s); and
  4. Promptly register requests for debriefings and provide the record of the debriefings to interested parties.

Task teams will be able to use STEP to:

  1. Better monitor complaints relating to procurement process and support the Borrowers in addressing them; and
  2. Review Borrowers' responses to such complaints in accordance with the requirements of the Procurement Regulations and the Procurement Procedure.

The World Bank has developed a self-paced e-leaning tool for Borrowers and the World Bank staff with an overview of the handling of complaints relating to procurement process and the use of the Complaints module in STEP.

The Q&A on the STEP complaints module provides further information on the use of the module.

For more information please see:

  1. The Procurement Regulations paragraphs 3.26 to 3.31 and Annex III
  2. The Procurement Procedure
  3. Guidance: Procurement-related Complaints