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Date 09/08/2018-10:25:00 AM
Nearly 9.000 online bidding packets in the first 7 months
(MPI) - On August 8th, 2018, the Ministry of Planning and Investment organized the Vietnam E-Government Procurement Forum 2018. This is the first national-level Forum on online bidding being held in Vietnam, creating opportunities for parties to review the process of implementing the online bidding, share learnt experiences, enhance awareness on the benefits and applications of the Vietnam National E-Procurement System (VNEPS), through that, propose suggestions to complete and improve management policies, technology and operation of the System in the future.
Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Vu Dai Thang speaking at the opening. Photo: Duc Trung (MPI)

Attending the forum were Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Vu Dai Thang, development partners, representatives from state management agencies, investors, bid solicitors, enterprises and businesses associations of Vietnam, experts in the many fields such as bidding, technology, business, international agencies and organizations in Vietnam, press and media agencies.

With a core platform, where the whole process, from posting the plans for selecting contractors, procurement notices and bidding documents, receiving bid dossiers to announcing the winning results takes place, VNEPS helps improve publicity, transparency, competition, fairness and economic efficiency in bidding. The cost-saving rate achieved through online bidding is up to 9% when the operation is carried out entirely through the network, the online bidding helps participants save time, costs and human resources in performing the bidding. Especially, online bidding can reduce negative behaviors such as cheating, collusion or obstructions occurring in bidding activities, at the same time, reduce the time and effort of contractors, bringing a transparent environment for bidding, reduce negativities, and increase the efficiency of using state capital.

Speaking at the opening of the Forum, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Vu Dai Thang said that in parallel with the development of information technology and internet services, online bidding is an inevitable trend, contributing to the improvement of the efficiency in bidding, creating a transparent competitive environment, increasing efficiency, saving time and cost in bidding. The Law on Bidding passed by the National Assembly in 2005 also provided articles relating to the organization of online bidding. This is the basic foundation for us to start, organize research and implementation activities, apply information technology into the management of bidding.

In 2016 with a strong political will, the Prime Minister promulgated Decision No. 1402/QD-TTg dated July 13th, 2016, approving the Overall Plan and Roadmap for applying online bidding in the period 2016 - 2025. Accordingly, by 2025, 100% of the bidding information must be publicly posted on the System; 100% of regular procurement activities must be conducted through online bidding and at least 70% of bidding packages within the governing scope of the Law on Bidding must be implemented on the national bidding network system.

Deputy Minister Vu Dai Thang said that until now, the total online bidding packages are approximately at 23,000. In the first 7 months of 2018 separately, there were nearly 9,000 bidding packages have been applied online bidding, accounting for 18% of the total packages that were being deployed in the whole country in the first seven months of 2018, this is considered a high rate as compared to 2017, at approximately 11%, and 2016, at approximately 5% for the whole year.

In order to promote the development of online bidding, Circular No. 04/2017/TT-BKHDT issued by the Ministry of Planning and Investment is effective from March 1st, 2018 with many breakthroughs, in which scope of online bidding is expanded to include bidding packages for the provision of consulting and non-consulting services, procurement of goods, construction and installation of high value, the one-phase method with two dossier bags is applied and the procedure of selecting contractors on the National E-Procurement System is optimized.

At the Forum. Photo: Duc Trung (MPI)

Sharing at the Forum, Mr. Adu-Gyamfi Abunyewa, a Senior Procurement Specialist of World Bank (WB) in Vietnam, one of the first development partners participating in online bidding in Vietnam said that in 2016, WB requested all small bidding packages to be piloted on the System, although many difficulties and obstacles appear in the process of implementing online bidding, remarkable results have been initially achieved, help Vietnam's public procurement process to be more effective.

Mr. Adu-Gyamfi Abunyewa said that no country has a perfect bidding system right from the beginning. Each country has its own regulations and must adjust according to its legal regulations and environment. WB and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) are working together to help Vietnam building and improving the System.

Mrs. Thuy Ha, head of the Procurement Management Board - Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) said that to overcome difficulties while implementing online bidding, EVN started from enhancing the capacity of officers who are performing the bidding through the organization of workshops, coaching sessions, training, propaganda; followed by mobilizing some units to participate in the implementation. In the past 3 years, EVN has set scoring criteria for the heads of units to participate in the implementation of online bidding. Initially, this was just an encouragement indicator, but from 2017, has become mandatory.

Online Bidding Discussion: Looking Back on the Development Path. Photo: Duc Trung (MPI)

Looking back on the development path of online bidding in the last time, Mr. Nguyen Anh Tuan, Deputy Director General of Public Procurement Agency, under the Ministry of Planning and Investment, stated that although the number of online bidding packages is impressive, it has not reached the expectation, for example, the number of online bidding packages in the first seven months of 2018 reached only 18%, which has not yet reached the roadmap set by the Prime Minister.

The legal basis system for online bidding is basically complete. However, there are still two remaining issues, namely technical and awareness issues. In which, awareness is the most important issue. According to the bidding report in 2007 by the Ministry of Planning and Investment, after three years of online bidding, out of 119 agencies performing bidding, there are 41 agencies have not yet implemented online bidding, even just a package. Therefore, it is necessary to attach the responsibility of implementing online bidding to the heads of units, contributing to change the awareness of online bidding.

Mr. Nguyen Dang Truong, Director General of Public Procurement Agency of the MPI speaking at the ending of the forum. Photo: Duc Trung (MPI)

Speaking at the Forum, Mr. Nguyen Dang Truong, Director General of Public Procurement Agency of the Ministry of Planning and Investment said that the construction of the ecosystem for online bidding is based on three main pillars: The first is the environment, legal framework, creating "the game"; the second is the construction of tools to "play"; the third is that everyone in that environment is fully aware of the game, the "play" tool. However, the obstacle to this problem is the need to change the awareness.

In the world, developed countries tend to go through three stages in online bidding: beginning, developing and maturity. We are currently having some packages in the maturity stage, but some packages are at the beginning stage. Regarding the plan to achieve the target of 100% of bidding packages posted online in the coming time, Mr. Nguyen Dang Truong stated that we will achieve the target but must not stop there. Instead, we have to provide further information on packages. Thereby, contractors must list all bidding packages and contracts for implementing these packages to the System. Investors will enter the System to learn about contractors' capacity without having to ask for a set of capacity profile. This helps saving plenty of costs and to avoid perjury of contractors on their capacity.

The Ministry of Planning and Investment is working with the WB and ADB to complete the National E-Procurement System, adding a number of utilities to facilitate conditions for users. In order to facilitate access to information on bidding packages for enterprises in the coming time, the Ministry of Planning and Investment, as the state management agency over procurement, will study options to provide information to contractors on groups of bidding packages that they are interested in, instead of having them accessing the System to look for posted packages separately./.

Hien Nguyen
Ministry of Planning and Investment

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