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Resource Guide: Frequently Asked Questions

1.         How long does it normally take a firm to win a World Bank-financed contract?  Is pursuing an opportunity costly? 

The time and cost of winning a contract can vary a great deal.  The likelihood a company will win a contract depends on how competitive it is in a particular developing country.  Companies can expect the cost of pursuing an opportunity financed by the World Bank to be similar to the cost of pursuing an opportunity financed using a developing country’s own resources.

2.         When is the best time to meet with World Bank staff?

A good time to meet with staff is often right after you have visited the country in which the project is located.  Be sure to have read all the relevant project documentation.  December and August can be difficult months to arrange meetings.

3.         How do I find out who the World Bank Task Team Leader is for a project?

The names of Task Team Leaders are given at the end of Project Information Documents.

4.         How do I find out the name of the Implementing agency of World Bank project?

The name of the Implementing agency is given in the Monthly Operational Summary, the Project Information Document, the Project Appraisal Document, and in General and Specific Procurement Notices and Requests for Expressions of Interest.

5.         Does a company have to visit the developing country and meet with an Implementing agency to win a World Bank-financed contract?

It is not mandatory to do so, but experience indicates that companies are much more likely to win a contract if they have had regular contact with the Implementing agency prior to a Specific Procurement Notice or Request for Proposal being issued.

6.         Can the World Bank tell me who my potential competitors or partners are?

It is up to each company to identify their potential competitors and partners.  However, consulting firms that are short-listed for an assignment will be given the names of the other short-listed firms by the Implementing agency. Companies may search the World Bank’s database of contract awards to identify companies who have successfully competed for contracts in projects financed by the World Bank.

7.         Do the World Bank guidelines give special preferences to companies from certain countries?

No.  Companies from all member countries of the World Bank are eligible to compete for contracts.  World Bank procurement guidelines, however, do allow Implementing Agencies to make the use of local consultants, goods and labor criteria in the evaluation of proposals and bids.

8.         Is it mandatory to have a local partner to win a World Bank-financed bid?

No.  Implementing Agencies in borrowing countries cannot force companies to use a local partner.  Companies are free to choose their own partner as long as the company is from member country of the World Bank.

9.         How is local or “domestic” preference allocated for equipment procurement?

The rules for allocating and evaluating domestic preference can be found in Appendix 2 of the Red Guidelines, “Procurement on IBRD Loans and IDA Credits”.  Preference to domestic goods and equipment suppliers can be as much as 15%.

10.       Can I correct mistakes in my bid or proposal after I have submitted it to the Implementing agency?

Only clear, unequivocal arithmetical errors can be corrected by the Implementing agency once a bid is opened.  Altering any other elements of a bid or proposal is not permitted by either Implementing Agencies or companies.

11.       How do I raise questions or issues about a particular bid or request for proposal?

Companies should raise questions or issues with the Implementing agency in writing.  Copies of this communication can also be sent to the World Bank.  If the Implementing agency does not respond promptly, a company should alert the Task Team Leader and Regional Procurement Advisor.

12.       Can a company protest a procurement decision by the Implementing agency?

Yes.  Companies have the right to protest throughout the procurement process.  For specific guidance on how to submit a complaint, companies should refer to Appendix 4 of World Bank procurement and consultant guidelines.

13.       What happens if an Implementing agency does not procure goods and services according the World Bank’s guidelines?

A number of things can occur depending on the incident.  The World Bank could declare “misprocurement”, canceling and withdrawing the financing from that portion of the loan.  It may also re-bid the opportunity.

14.       Can consultants that have worked during project preparation subsequently provide consulting services during project implementation?

In order to ensure that consultants give objective and impartial advice, the World Bank’s “Conflict of Interest” clause (s.1.9) prevents a consultant, and any of his/her affiliates, from providing services during project implementation that are related to an initial assignment during project preparation.

15.      How does the World Bank combat fraud and corruption in its projects?

The World Bank expects borrowing countries and companies to observe the highest standards of ethics during the procurement process.  Companies can report allegations of fraud and corruption to an Anti-Corruption Hotline (toll free: 1-800-831-0463).   If the World Bank deems that a company has engaged in fraudulent or corrupt practice, it may debar the company from competing for future World Bank-financed contracts. A list of debarred firms is maintained on the World Bank’s website.

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