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BP 11.00, Annex C - Maximum Prior Review Thresholds

These policies were prepared for use by World Bank staff and are not necessarily a complete treatment of the subject.
BP 11.00 - Annex C
January, 2011

The following table indicates the maximum prior review thresholds for different types of procurement that are subject to prior review by the Bank. Note that:

(i)  all direct and single source contracts are subject to the Bank's prior review, except, at the RPM option, small value contracts below a threshold defined by the RPM on the basis of project’s scope and risks and set forth in the Procurement Plan;

(ii)   all requests for negotiations with the lowest bidder;

(iii)  all requests for cancellation of a procurement or selection process and/or re-bidding;

(iv)  prior review thresholds that apply to each project are set on the basis of the procurement risk assessment and the assessed capacity of the implementing agency to execute procurement, and are set forth in the Procurement Plan;

(v)  the determination of whether a contract meets the prior review threshold is based on the total value of the contract, including all taxes and duties payable under the contract;

(vi)  a contract whose cost estimate was below the Bank’s prior review threshold is subject to prior review if the price of the lowest evaluated responsive bid (or, in the case of consulting services, the financial offer of the selected firm) exceeds such threshold at the bid evaluation stage;

(vii)  in the case of a slice and package arrangement, the prior review threshold is determined based on the aggregate value of individual contracts to be awarded under such arrangement; and

(viii)  the review of the TOR of consulting assignments (firms or individuals) and technical aspects of bidding documents (e.g. specifications and design), as well as the assessment of the proposed short list of consulting firms and the technical responsiveness of bids and proposals, is the responsibility of the TTL as part of standard project implementation support. Such reviews are mandatory unless indicated otherwise in the project documentation, for example, for small value and simple assignments.

Maximum Prior Review Thresholds under Competitive Procurement and Consultants Selection Processes


Estimated Contract Cost (in US Dollars)


Type of Procurement1 

High Risk Implementing Agency

Substantial Risk Implementing Agency

Moderate Risk Implementing Agency

Low Risk Implementing Agency

Works, Turnkey and S&I of Plant and Equipment

5 million

10 million

15 million

20 million



0.5 million

1 million

3 million

5 million


IT Systems and Non-Consultant Services

0.5 million

1 million

3 million

5 million

Consulting Services2 

Consultants (firms)

0.2 million

0.5 million

1 million

2 million


Individual Consultants3 

0.1 million

0.2 million

0.3 million

0.5 million

  1. Operating expenditures are neither subject to the Procurement and Consultant Guidelines nor prior or post reviews. Operating expenditures are normally verified by TTLs and FM Specialists.
  2. Irrespective of the thresholds and category of risk, the selection of all consultants (firms or individuals) hired for legal work or for procurement activities are respectively cleared by the LEG VPU unit with the relevant expertise and the designated PS/PAS or RPM as required.
  3. (a) The selection of individual consultants is not normally subject to prior review by procurement staff.

The borrower must, however, obtain the Bank’s no objection prior to: (i) inviting firms to offer the services of individual consultants in accordance with paragraph 5.1 of the Consultant Guidelines; and (ii) terminating negotiations with the selected individual consultant and proceeding to negotiate with the second-ranked individual consultant.

(b) In addition, prior review of the selection process is mandatory and requires clearance by the designated PS/PAS in the following particular situations:

(i)  above the indicated thresholds;

(ii) irrespective of the thresholds and category of risks when individual consultants are hired for long-term technical assistance or advisory services for the duration of the project (or most of it), or in exceptional cases stipulated in the PAD.

The aggregate values of all contracts with individual consultants under a project are monitored by TTLs on a yearly basis. TTLs are responsible for review of the TORs irrespective of the thresholds.


BP 11.00 - Procurement

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