The VNEPS, run by the national e-procurement centre, was introduced on a trial basis for six years and officially put into operation nationwide in 2016.
Statistics of the centre show that the numbers of bid inviters and bidders actively using the VNEPS have increased considerably. In the first seven months of this year, nearly 9,000 bid packages were offered online, doubling that in the same period of 2017. The figure is expected to stand at about 15,000 in 2018.
Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Vu Dai Thang said despite encouraging initial outcomes, there remain many difficulties and challenges in developing e-procurement. Hence, the ministry will push ahead with fine-tuning the legal basis, improving staff’s capacity, disseminating information to participants, and perfecting technical infrastructure.
Alexander Fox, Principal Procurement Specialist at the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Vietnam, said the ADB particularly recommends the country modernise the VNEPS. It and the World Bank (WB) will also strongly assist the Vietnamese Government to improve and promote e-procurement via the VNEPS.
After successfully testing some bid packages in several projects of the two banks on the VNEPS, the ADB and WB will expand e-bidding for procurement and construction packages of projects funded with their capital, he noted.
Nguyen Anh Tuan, Deputy Director of the ministry’s Public Procurement Agency, said the VNEPS helps improve the transparency and fair competition in government procurement. Steps in the bidding process are conducted completely online, helping participants save time, cost and manpower for the work.
Notably, e-procurement can help minimise negative acts like cheating, collusion or obstruction in the bidding process. It is also able to keep information about bid prices and bidders’ names absolutely secrete before bid packages are put out to tenders, he stressed.
Tuan noted to develop the VNEPS, it is necessary to improve the awareness of leaders in each entity taking part in the bidding process. Authorised agencies also need to improve policies on the management, technologies and operation of the system in order to align domestic legal framework with international practice. –VNA