DBM to enhance govt. online procurement program

  

By Rose de la Cruz

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said it is upgrading its online procurement system with the launch of the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System (PhilGEPS) version 1.5 with more sophisticated software to increase reliability and performance. This is in response to the increased traffic with the system, which has caused slowdowns and difficulties on the part of government agencies and merchants. PhilGEPS 1.5 will be launched by the DBM, in coordination with the Procurement Service (PS), on March 26, 2018.

PhilGEP’s enhancement comes with the push for a more streamlined and efficient public procurement system, said DBM Secretary Benjamin Diokno. 

“The government must keep up with the increasing demands of line agencies and merchants in the conduct of their procurement activities and one way to secure timely and transparent use of public funds, especially with the huge P3.8 trillion budget, is by having a good electronic procurement system,” he explained. 

PhilGEPS 1.5 will provide improved services that allow government agencies to post their bids and awards information online. The e-portal enables registered contractors, merchants, and consultants to participate in the procurement of goods, civil works and consulting services. 

The migration process and functional testing on the system has already been completed. A parallel run of the existing system and PhilGEPS 1.5 is also being conducted to ensure the readiness of the upgraded portal before its official launch. Moreover, the DBM is conducting performance tests on the new system to ensure its capacity to handle additional concurrent users and verify its accessibility to procuring entities and suppliers.

  

Modern e-procurement 

PhilGEPS 1.5 replaces the existing version of the government’s electronic portal until such time that a modernized GEPS is up and running. The transition to a modern GEPS is projected to be completed by 2019. 

The modern GEPS project was awarded to the joint venture of Nextix and Nextenders last December 29, 2017. Project implementation started on February 6, 2018 and is set to be completed by June 2019.

Aside from the existing features of PhilGEPS, the modernized GEPS will incorporate the Annual Procurement Plan (APP) of procuring entities. An e-Catalogue will also be made available to procuring entities and merchants to facilitate requests for quotations, purchase orders, and other transactions. Likewise, online bid submission and payment will be made possible in the modern GEPS. 

Other innovations to look forward to include the e-Reverse Auction where merchants will be allowed to offer their items and try to outbid one another, as well as data analytics to generate statistical procurement reports.  

 

Other Efforts            

The DBM has made various initiatives to improve public procurement since the Duterte Administration took office. On the policy front, the Government Procurement Policy Board (GPPB) issued the revised Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the Government Procurement Reform Law (RA 9184) in 2016. This was made effective on October 28, 2016. 

The revised IRR has quickened the procurement process, made it less vulnerable to arbitrary delays, and streamlined the documentary requirements for stakeholders without sacrificing the integrity of public procurement. 

In terms of capacity development, the Technical Support Office (TSO) of the GPPB has also entered into partnerships with various State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) for the procurement professionalization program. To date, ten SUCs all over the country are set to offer the program to capacitate public procurement practitioners. 

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