|Assessment of Agency’s Capacity to Procure Textbooks
To assess the procurement agency’s capacity to procure textbooks. For this, it has been adapted (with adaptations highlighted with gray) from the checklist that forms the basis for the Bank’s questionnaire to Assess the Capacity of the Implementing Agency to undertake Procurement. The procurement agency is, most likely, within the structure of the Borrower’s education ministry and/or in a Project Implementation Unit (probably associated with the education ministry).
1. Legal System (i.e. Common/Civil Law; Socialist; Shari’a; other)
2. Form of government (i.e. centralized or federal; if latter, degree and nature of local authority)
3. If federal: (i) Do the same rules apply to all governments — central and local? (ii) Is the procurement function decentralized? If so, describe basic structure, name the main decentralized procuring entities and indicate whether their role, rights and responsibilities are clearly delegated in writing.
4. Is there a Central Tender Board or a similar institution? What are its duties and responsibilities? Do the procuring entities or the Central Tender Board issue the award recommendation?
5. What is the legal corporate status of the procurement agency? (i.e., is it a government department, a state corporation, a parastatal enterprise? Who are the owners?)
6. Do the national policies, laws and regulations regarding procurement in general and procurement of education sector goods and services in particular apply to this agency? In this case refer to existing CPAR for analysis of the legal system. If not, does the agency have its own regulations?
7. Are the regulations clear, comprehensive and consistent? Do they cover the relevant components of procurement for education sector goods and services (e.g., product selection, quality control, importation versus local manufacture, etc.) with no unduly complicated, unnecessary, conflicting or outdated regulations? Are rules found in various distinct sources or within a well-coordinated legal framework? Do they conflict with policies and regulations in support of other national social or economic development goals?
8. Is the hierarchy of the sources of procurement rules in general and for procurement of education sector goods and services in particular well established? Who has the authority to determine procurement rules? Who has the authority to interpret them? Who has the authority to overrule them?
9. Does the system allow/facilitate the introduction of new and innovative techniques and contracting practices for education sector goods and services, such as e-procurement, without compromising basic principles?
10. Are there rules/procedures regarding bidder suspension and debarment?
11. Are there primary/secondary boycotts? (Specify)
12. Are there procedures for the settlement of contractual disputes? Describe.
13. Are there provisions regarding preferences for particular categories of suppliers of goods and services?
1. Is there a legal or regulatory requirement for public disclosure of procurement legal texts?
2. Are there mandatory requirements for maintaining written records of procurement? Are they available to the general public?
3. Are requirements for advertisement of contracting opportunities adequate? Is the country’s national gazette published in a timely fashion? Is it available to the general public?
4. Are requirements regarding public bid opening, if any, appropriate?
5. Are negotiations after bid opening or award selection forbidden?
6. Do rules on negotiated procurement, if any, provide the basis for a fair and transparent process? Detail.
7. Are conditions for use of various procurement methods clearly established and is there an explicit requirement that open competitive bidding is the preferred or default method?
8. Is there a requirement for public notice of contract awards?
9. Are requirements for bid and contract securities clear and appropriate? Are they required of all bidders?
10. Are qualification requirements for bidders, if any, fair and appropriate for the purpose of the contract?
11. Do requirements for bid examination and evaluation provide the basis for a rational and fair process?
12. Are summaries of information about public procurement published (e.g. number of bids received, number of contracts awarded, names of successful bidders)? If so, describe scope and frequency.
13. Does agency hold regular meetings with the civil society (parents, teachers, business community, education specialists and researchers, etc.) to discuss procurement issues?
14. Is there a conflict of interest policy in effect? (If so, describe its essential features)
15. Are the laws on bribery of officials enforced? Do government bidding documents and contracts contain anti-bribery and anti-corruption conditions?
16. What are the opportunities for discretionary decisions by government officials in the procurement process and preparation of documents?
1. Are agency employees expected to follow a published code of ethics? If so, describe its basic features?
2. How easy is it for bidders to report bribes by others and solicitation/extortion of bribes by procurement officials?
3. Do bidders have adequate access to administrative or judicial review/appeal?
4. Are there measures/initiatives to curb/control corruption, e.g. anti-corruption statutes and/or bodies, whistle- blower statutes, comprehensive reforms of the civil service/judiciary, regional initiatives, provisions in the criminal law, anti-bribery provisions, etc.? (If so, describe)
1. Are procurement plans prepared as a norm? What authority/ies is/are responsible for preparing procurement plans? How long does it take to prepare a procurement plan
2. How do these plans compare to previous history in level of detail and comprehensiveness?
3. Do plans properly consider technical (e.g., specifications), financial (e.g., foreign exchange, quantities, source/origin), managerial (e.g., procurement, storage and distribution) and implementation constraints (e.g., seasonality, budget cycles, distribution, etc.)? Do they take into account educational planning data?
4. Does the “agency” (unit, group) have specialized staff for procurement planning and scheduling of education sector goods and services?
5. Are project implementation units adequately staffed and trained in procurement, planning, scheduling, expediting and cost estimating for education sector goods and services?
6. Is overall planning for education sector goods and services done in sufficient detail to produce realistic quantification of needs, quality products, achievable lead times for delivery and accurate cost estimates?
7. Is the early technical and financial planning well coordinated so that funding is assured when procurement begins, based on accurate cost and quantity estimates?
8. Are appropriate methodologies used to plan multiple inter-related procurement activities on large projects (e.g. the critical path method)?
9. Are project components appropriately packaged for procurement purposes?
10. Are contractual terms for product specifications, including quantity, quality, price and terms of delivery generally met? If not, what is the major cause for slippage? Is sufficient time generally allowed for external reviews/clearances (e.g., quality control systems, excise tax/port clearances)?
11. Do procurement units regularly conduct market surveys to update their knowledge of prevailing sources and prices for education sector goods and services?
12. In the case of Bank-financed projects, is the agreed procurement plan generally adhered to?
13. Are procedures and methodologies for planning procurement of recurrent items adequate (e.g., inventory control, storage, delivery schedules, forecasting future requirements, financial management)? Are procedures and methodologies in place for delivery to schools?
2. Who has to intervene and approve different steps in the cycle and what is the value added by each intervention? Are there any opportunities for simplification, collapsing or eliminating steps? Establish a typical procurement cycle from selection of education sector goods and services to bid advertisement to award.
1. Does the agency have capable staff for preparation of bidding documents?
2. Is the agency familiar with Bank procurement policies and Guidelines and with the SBDs and Technical Note for the Procurement of Textbooks and Reading Materials?
3. What is the general quality of documentation produced by the agency? Identify improvements needed.
4. Describe the general quality of technical specifications, clarity, neutrality, and accuracy (including schedules of requirements. Who is involved in their development, review and acceptance
5. Do standard bidding documents exist for education sector goods and services contracts? List. Are other international contract formats used? If so, identify.
6. Are these documents, if any, readily adaptable to specific contract situations (i.e. by modifications made through a Bid Data Sheet, Special Conditions of Contract or similar)?
7. Are there separate documents for international and national competitive bidding not financed by the Bank (i.e., by other financing agencies, national and international)?
8. Do Instructions to Bidders (ITBs) contain all information necessary to prepare responsive bids and clearly understand evaluation criteria and their method of application?
9. Do they contain other necessary information, such as eligibility requirements, basis of bid, language and currency of bids, common currency for purposes of evaluation, source and date of the exchange rate etc.? Are sample forms and other appropriate sections of the documents provided?
10. Are bidders required to provide bid security in an appropriate amount as a condition of responsiveness of their bid?
11. Is pre- or post-qualification provided for?
12. Are qualification criteria appropriate and clearly described?
13. Are conditions of contract generally equitable? Do they provide adequate coverage for most important commercial and legal issues (for the method of procurement, size, nature and type of contract used) and provide adequate protection to the Government, without putting undue risk on bidders?
14. Can appropriate provisions for price adjustment be introduced, if needed, and is an adequate system available for indexing the prices of basic contractual inputs (labor, materials, equipment usage)?
15. Are standard purchase orders used for shopping?
1. Is pre-qualification of suppliers carried out? What types of contracts is it used for? Are there long-standing working relationships with selected suppliers?
2. Is the pre-qualification process fair and transparent? Are decisions made promptly? Are foreign firms allowed to apply?
3. Do pre-qualification documents clearly and completely describe all requisites for submitting responsive applications and the qualification requirements? Is financial information required and critically analyzed to assess financial capabilities to perform contracts? Is quality assessed? If so, how? E.g. are book samples from all suppliers reviewed or only new bidders?
4. Do procuring entities verify prior to contract award if a successful bidder continues to meet pre-qualification requirements?
5. Are suppliers required to have a local agent in order to qualify to bid for goods or services?
6. Do procuring entities maintain updated lists of qualified suppliers, contractors and consultants, and updated market information on commonly procured education sector goods and services? Is supplier performance routinely evaluated? How? What criteria are used to assess performance? Can newcomers readily apply and be qualified?
1. Are contracts to be awarded by competitive bidding publicly advertised?
2. Is sufficient time allowed to obtain documents and prepare bids.
3. What is the track record of the agency on publishing/updating General Procurement and Specific Procurement Notices?
1. Are requests for clarifications answered promptly and completely in a written form?
2. Are clarifications, minutes of the pre-bid conference, if any, and modifications of the documents promptly communicated to all prospective bidders?
3. Are bidders afforded sufficient time to revise their bids following a modification of the documents?
4. Do procuring entities maintain accurate records of all communications with the bidders (before and after the deadline for submission)?
5. Are there communications between the procuring entities and the bidders, other than appropriate requests for clarification of a bid made by the evaluating committee?
1. Are bids received prior to the deadline securely stored? Where? Who has access?
2. Are public bid openings conducted?
3. If so, are they conducted at a specified place closely following the deadline for submission? Generally how long after are they scheduled? Who is invited to attend?
4. Do bid opening procedures generally follow those specified in the World Bank Guidelines? What information is read out at the opening ceremony? Are minutes kept?
5. Do bid opening procedures differ for different types of education sector goods and services? If so, how?
1. Do qualified evaluating committees conduct evaluations? Do the committees include a cross-section of education professionals and other concerned parties?
2. Are evaluating committees appointed ad hoc for each evaluation?
3. Is responsiveness determined on the basis of the documentary requirements described in the bidding documents (e.g., physical quality, packaging, etc)?
4. Are bid evaluations carried out thoroughly and on the basis of the criteria specified in the documents?
5. Is the successful bidder’s qualification to perform the contract determined solely on the basis of the criteria stated in the documents? (See above) If not, what other criteria are considered?
6. Are evaluations normally completed within the original bid validity period?
7. Are bid evaluation reports prepared containing all essential information (i.e. a clear and complete description of the evaluation process, including the reasons for rejecting any bid as non-responsive, how the stated evaluation criteria were applied, and how the successful bidder’s qualifications were verified)?
8. Describe any significant differences between goods, works and consultants evaluations relating to the above.
1. Are contracts required to be awarded to the lowest evaluated responsive bidder who has been determined to be qualified to perform the contract satisfactorily?
2. Are negotiations conducted with bidders, before or after selection?
3. Are additional Government approvals required before contracts can be made effective?
4. Is performance security required in an appropriate amount and in an appropriate format?
5. Describe any differences between goods, works and consultants relating to the above.
1. Are there manual or computerized procurement and/or contract monitoring systems in use? Review sample report/output.
2. Are suppliers and contractors generally paid on time? What is the normal time lapse from invoice submission to final payment?
3. Are there appropriate procedures to monitor delivery of education sector goods and services to verify quantity, quality and timeliness? Are stores well kept and managed, including inventory control of goods?
4. Are contract changes or variations handled promptly in accordance with the contract conditions and established practice (i.e. change/variation orders are given and/or confirmed in writing, unit prices in the contract are honored but the supplier or contractor is allowed to agree to any new unit prices introduced and the delivery schedule for each change or variation, etc.)?
5. Do procuring entities normally make a good faith attempt to resolve disagreements through informal negotiations? (Amicable Settlement).
6. If this fails, are the resulting disputes handled in accordance with the contract conditions?
7. Are supplier claims handled fairly based on a clear recognition of both parties’ obligations under the contract?
8. Are contract managers/administrators skilled in resolving problems in a timely manner and dealing with unforeseen circumstances arising during the life of the contract? Do they adequately document all actions of contractual import taken by the purchase/employer during implementation?
9. Are contractual remedies utilized only when appropriate and in accordance with the contract conditions?
10. Are contracts generally completed on schedule and within the originally approved contract price? Or are cost and time overruns frequent?
11. Are contracts generally administered in a fair and equitable manner (e.g. the purchaser/employer/client grants extensions of time when delays are attributable to its untimely action, fair compensation is provided to offset additional costs caused by its mistakes, etc.)?
12. Are under-inspection, over-inspection and/or improper rejection of goods and services common problems?
13. Are disruptions of the supplier’s orderly performance common, i.e., does the purchaser/agency supply data and resources it agreed to under the contract and carry out all inspections in a timely fashion?
14. Can any of the improper contract administrative practices identified above be attributable to a problem identified in the local procurement environment? Specify.
15. Are procurement evaluations/audits conducted? If so, describe scope, frequency, who carries them out, etc.
16. Are final payments and contract final closure efficiently handled?
C - ORGANIZATION AND FUNCTIONS
1. Describe the general organization of the concerned units (curriculum development, planning, finance, procurement, etc).
2. Are key functions assigned and duly staffed? For example: Planning, Curriculum development, Distribution, Preparation of Bidding Documents , Bidding Process Management (Advertising, Printing and Publication, Responses to Questions/Clarifications, Prebid Conference), Bid Opening, Bid Evaluation, Contract Preparation, Contract Management, Quality Control and Inspection, Transport, Insurance, Custom Clearances and Expediting, etc.
3. Does staff clearly understand what is expected of them? Are there procedural manuals and clear instructions for staff to follow? Are there accountability norms, incentive structures? Does the reward system promote initiative, reward excellence, sanction poor work?
4. Is appropriate information adequately disseminated (e.g., procurement staff are aware of updated rules and thresholds, and other issues relevant to their assigned responsibilities; they are aware of planning figures, disaggregated by appropriate socio-geographic units, such as districts, rural/urban, etc)? How accessible is the information? Do staff use this information?
5. Are the procurement and supply management functions clearly distinguished?
6. Is contracting authority reasonably delegated (i.e. there are no unnecessary levels of approvals or cumbersome procedures)? Process mapping could be a useful tool to answer this question.
7. Are thresholds for contracting powers regularly updated?
8. Are procurement agents used? Under what circumstances? How are they selected? Describe normal basis for compensation and contract duration.
1. Are there job descriptions for staff members, including qualifications required?
2. Do staff skills generally match requirements and numbers? Are there any staffing gaps? If so, identify them.
3. Are staff members selected competitively or by direct appointment?
4. Are procurement staff members experienced in international procurement for education sector goods and services?
5. Is career advancement primarily based on job-related accomplishments and factors? Describe the reward structure.
6. Do adequate formal and on-the-job training programs exist for entry- and higher-level staff, which contribute to proper professional career development?
7. Are there additional training resources in the country which are currently utilized or that could be utilized to complement Government/donor-administered programs (e.g. universities and private institutions)?
8. Did previous training programs lead to an obvious improvement in the quality/productivity of work?
9. Do procurement staff members have adequate project/contract management capabilities?
1. Are arrangements for accountability and auditing in place and suitably established? Describe.
2. What is the general quality and scope of the these arrangements?
3. Are they objective? Is the audit independent? Are its recommendations implemented?
4. Are internal technical and administrative controls clear for reviews, clearances and decision-making?
5. Does the unit have access to quality legal advice and input?
1. For contracts to be awarded on the basis of competitive bidding, does the procuring unit maintain a complete record of the process? This would include e.g. copies of all public advertisements, pre-qualification documents (if used), the pre-qualification evaluation report documenting any decisions not to pre-qualify certain potential bidders, the bidding documents and any addenda, a record of any pre-bid meetings, the bid opening minutes, the final bid evaluation report (including a detailed record of the reasons used to accept or reject each bid), copies of bids, appeals against procedures or award recommendations, a signed copy of the final contract and any performance and advance payment securities issued, etc. Are cross-references to pertinent files adequate and clear?
2. Are adequate contract administration records maintained? (These would include contractual notices issued by the supplier, contractor, purchaser or employer; a detailed record of all change or variation orders issued affecting the scope, quantities, timing or price of the contract; records of invoices and payments; progress reports; certificates of inspection, acceptance and completion; records of claims and disputes and their outcome; etc.)
3. For small contracts or purchase orders for goods procured using shopping procedures, is a database maintained showing the current market price for commonly needed items?
4. Are periodic reports prepared on overall procurement activities? By and for whom?
5. Is a record of contract prices maintained? How is it used? To establish national price indices?
1. Are the procurement unit staff members held in high regard in the organization?
2. Are pay levels for procurement professionals comparable to that for other public and private sector technical specialists? Give current range of monthly salaries.
3. Does the procurement profession appear to be generally staffed with honest and capable individuals?
4. Are the authorities relating to procurement clearly delegated to the entities carrying out the process? Are the applicable procedures clearly defined?
5. Are procurement decisions ever overridden by higher governmental agencies? If so, by whom? To what degree is the procurement decision-making process independent from politics? Indicate how differences are resolved when there is a difference of view between the purchasing entity and the Tender Board or other final approval body regarding the award recommendation.
6. Does the highest level of the agency encourage/support/enforce compliance with existing procurement regulations? Are violations investigated and procurement/other responsible officials held accountable?
7. Assess the performance of the agency in earlier Bank projects in terms of its ability to handle Bank-financed contracts (timeliness, transparency, mis-procurements, incidence of complaints, Bank reversal of decisions, etc.)
1. What are the approximate annual values of public procurement in the education sector for goods, works, and consultant services, respectively? If possible, distinguish between procurement for projects and ongoing programs.
2. What are the approximate percentages of goods, works, and consultant services financed by external donors?
3. What percentage of public procurement in the education sector follows competitive bidding procedures? Other methods?
4. What percentage of competitively bid procurement is donor financed?
Are government organizations generally perceived by suppliers/contractors/consultants/the public as fair and efficient in their procurement practices?
1. Which of the following factors are considered to be problems by persons familiar with public procurement in the country?
a) Inappropriate or outdated laws and regulations
b) Poor compliance with and enforcement of existing laws
c) Poor information about procurement needs
d) Shortage of experienced professional staff
e) Poor training of procurement staff
f) Weak procurement planning
g) Low pay for procurement staff
h) Poor procurement methods and procedures
i) Lack of good standard procurement documents
j) Poor technical specifications (Goods only? Works?)
k) Cumbersome contract approval procedures
l) Lack of clear delegation of contracting authority
m) Interference by higher level officials
n) Inadequate appeals mechanism
o) Lack of anti-corruption measures and enforcement
1. How many Bank projects have been completed in the country? Are now underway? In which sectors?
2. Which organizations have been responsible for procurement on these projects?
3. What thresholds for ICB, IS, NS, prior review for goods, works and consultant services are currently in effect for ongoing projects? Are they the same for all projects? How long have they been in effect?
4. Do project audits/completion reports/supervision reports indicate significant procurement problems? Have any cases of mis-procurement occurred? Describe.
5. Have procurement issues caused serious implementation delays, cost overruns, disbursement delays? Describe.
6. Does the Bank receive a large number of complaints about procurement procedures, selection decisions in the country?
7. Are contracts generally awarded within the planned, usual time frame that would be required for similar operations by other experienced and efficient organizations?
8. Are there serious problems or conflicts between national and/or local practices and World Bank Guidelines which should be addressed on an interim basis pending implementation of recommended long-term action plans?
Are there eligibility restrictions based on nationality of bidder and/or origin of goods (other than primary boycotts)?
Are there primary boycotts which are established by law?
Only primary boycotts are acceptable
Are bidding opportunities advertised in the local press?
Are prospective bidders allowed at least 30 days for bid preparation (except for commodities/small goods contracts)?
Are contractors/suppliers pre-qualified for large/specialized contracts?
Are minimum experience, technical and financial requirements (for pre- or post-qualification) explicitly stated in the documents?
Is an invitation to pre-qualify advertised for each procurement involving large or complex potential contracts?
Are joint ventures with local firms required for foreign firms’ eligibility?
Are joint venture partners jointly and severally liable?
Are there set limitations to the number of firms who can bid for a contract?
Are parastatals allowed to bid?
Acceptable only if they (i) are financially autonomous, (ii) operate under commercial law and (iii) are independent from borrower and its purchasing/contracting authority
Are bidders required to register with a local or federal authority as a prior condition for bidding?
Should be discouraged. Acceptable only if registration criteria, process and cost reasonable/efficient and qualified foreign firms not precluded from competing
Are extensions to bid validity allowed?
Acceptable only if justified by exceptional circumstances
Are there restrictions on the means of delivery of bids?
Not allowed, except when bidders have to submit physical samples. Then they can be required to deliver bids by mail, by courier, by hand, etc.
Is preference given to suppliers or contractors based on region or locality of registration, small size, ethnic ownership, etc.?
Are there restrictions on sources of labor and material?
Not allowed, except for unskilled labor, if available locally
Is public bid opening required? Does it occur immediately or closely following the bid submission deadline?
Is a “two envelope” bid opening procedure permitted for procurement of goods or works?
Is automatic rebidding required if too few bids are received?
Acceptable, provided all responsive bidders are allowed to bid, the process is efficient and no serious delays result
Is “bracketing” used in bid evaluations?
Is award made to lowest evaluated qualified and responsive bidder?
Are price negotiations conducted with “winning” bidders prior to contract signature?
Not allowed, except where the bid price is substantially above market or budget levels and then only if negotiations are carried out to try to reach a satisfactory contract through reduction in scope and/or reallocation of risk and responsibility which can be reflected in a reduction in Contract Price. (See Guidelines para 2.60)
Are price adjustment provisions generally used?
Not required, but recommended for works contracts of 1 year or more in duration when domestic inflation rate is high
Are the terms and conditions used in goods and works procurement generally appropriate for the size and nature of contract intended?
Required (to be acceptable they should be balanced, reasonable and clearly address the most important issues that lead to problems during performance, e.g. risk allocation, payment, inspection, completion/acceptance, insurance, warrantees, changes, contract remedies, force majeure, governing law, termination, etc.)
Are contract scope/conditions modified during implementation?
Acceptable, but advance Bank approval of changes subject to prior review needed if required under the Loan Agreement.
J. PROCUREMENT CAPACITY ASSESSMENT: SUMMARY of FINDINGS and ACTIONS
Major Weaknesses, dysfunctionalities
1 (low) to 10 (high)
(a) Legal Aspects
(i) Laws & Regulations
(ii) NCB Procedures
(iii) Internal codes and manuals
(b) Proc. Cycle Mgmt.
(i) General handling
(ii) Procurement planning
(iii) Preparation of documents
(iv) Management of process
(v) Bid evaluation
(vi) Contract award
(vii) Preparation and signing of contracts
(viii) Contract management
(c) Organization and Functions
(i) Organization of unit and functions
(ii) Internal manuals and instructions
(d) Support and Control Systems
(ii) Legal assistance
(iii) Technical and administrative controls
(iv) Code of ethics
(v) Anticorruption initiatives
(e) Record keeping
(i) Public notices
(ii) Bidding documents
(iii) Bid opening information
(iv) Bid evaluation reports
(v) Formal appeals and outcomes
(vi) Signed contract documents
(vii) Claims and dispute resolution records
(viii) Comprehensive disbursement data
(g) General Procurement Environment
(i) Promoting a culture of accountability
(ii) Reputation of procurement corps
(iii) Salary structure
(iv) Freedom from political interference
(v) Existence of experienced and capable staff
(vi) Clear written standards and delegation of authority
(vii) Sound budget/financial systems
(h) Private Sector Assessment
(i) General efficiency and predictability
(iii) Quality of contract mgmt.
(iv) General reputation