Why E-Procurement is a great solution for the government’s procurement needs? 

The private sector has treated the benefits of digitalization with open arms. Information and Communication Technologies that are prevalent today aid private enterprises in creating fast-paced and detail-oriented workflows. Furthermore, the herculean stronghold established by e-commerce platforms is yet another example of the convergence of business and tech. However, amidst this tsunami of structural changes, government entities have not welcomed digital tools as amicably as their private counterparts. This cold-faced approach also affects the way government organizations tackle their procurement needs. On the other hand, private companies have submerged themselves in the advantages that online publishing tenders provide.

Unmasking the opportunity

E-procurement is an ideal way of identifying viable suppliers in a world where a social media platform like Twitter is considered a somewhat tangible news source. The accuracy of information flow is not the unique selling point here. Instead, the elephantine dissemination of data is what makes the internet an ideal bidding ground. Even Fortune 500 companies hold diminutive vendor-pools when compared to government entities. The capital-intensive nature of government-handled projects makes procurement an integral task to the structural-integrity of the public-centric systems. In other words, the frequency at which governments require the services of external vendors or contractors is much higher compared to the private sector. In such a reality, online procurement solutions can become a game-changer. Moreover, governments also have the option to create their personalized online procurement platforms to ensure compliance with certain legalities and policies. Thus, government entities can shake hands with the concept of online procurement by getting it done on their terms.

What are the specifics?

As with any typical digital procurement system, paperwork takes a backseat in government-issued online publishing tenders. This alone reduces operational costs by a sizeable portion. However, when public-purchasers digitally publish tenders gov departments are affected in some specific ways. They are detailed as follows:-

  • Resultant savings increase the government’s purchasing abilities: When governments e-publish their tenders, they not only save money by eliminating printing costs, but they also invoke automation into the picture. Digitalized tendering automates the whole communication chain that is otherwise established through manual intervention from both parties. By the virtue of online tendering, viable tenderers can sign up for alerts. Furthermore, when government entities publish tenders on their online portals, they also release tentative schedules of future tenders. This information lays out a series of checks and balances that exert their influence over a prolonged period. Yet again, this is a miracle of the automation that emerges as a result of using e-procurement systems.
  • Access to better metrics helps government organizations in drafting better framework agreements: As online tendering platforms make it easy to assemble all spending-related data, government entities gain access to information that helps in drafting purchasing cards for future procurement needs. The usage of framework agreements is almost a customary occurrence in the business world. In the case of capital-intensive tenders, this runs even truer than usual. Even in the case of small purchases, framework agreements help in avoiding the operational costs associated with curating individual contracts.
  • The accessible and transparent nature of e-procurement improves the public image of government enterprises:-Since e-procurement is much more of a transparent construct than the traditional paperwork-based tendering model, taxpayers feel a sense of accountability on the government’s part that helps them grow more trustworthy of public-faced purchasers. After they digitally publish tenders gov officials openly host a record of their transactions online. Those records are freely accessible by the public. However, in the case of traditional tendering models, even the information that is not confidential is difficult to access. Thus, the sense of transparency integral to government-issued tenders is never fully realized from the taxpayer’s perspective. This increased sense of trust can be particularly useful to the government with regards to infrastructure-oriented projects. Since such endeavors take a long time for completion, increased compliance by the taxpayers comes as a relief to government officials.
  • E-procurement on the government’s end bolsters the growth of SMEs: In the case of a developing country, Small and Medium organizations contribute heftily to GDP-growth. E-procurement on the government’s end makes partnerships between SMEs and capital-intensive government-issued tenders a possibility. It gives SMEs a real shot at having their skin in the game. Furthermore, the cost-benefit analysis renders a positive outcome for the government as well. Fortune 500 companies charge more for the delivery of a similar standard of project-completion as exhibited by competent SMEs. At the end of the day, supporting SMEs saves the government money whilst boosting the country’s economy, as well as the employment rate.
  • Online publishing tenders help government-faced procurement processes in becoming corruption-free: Corruption is one of the biggest evils that deter governments from realizing their true potential. By implementing a highly transparent model of procurement, online tendering helps government entities in chiding malicious agents away. The removal of corruption from the procurement equation further elevates the financial advantages that come with e-tendering. Thus, after they digitally publish tenders gov executives come into their own as righteous public servants. The large-scale morale boost associated with reduced corruption is merely the icing on the cake. As stated before, reduced corruption through e-procurement also helps governments in improving their public perception.

The Final Note

Even though government enterprises have been slow in coming to terms with the benefits associated with e-tendering, they are changing ways for the better. Furthermore, the government’s reluctance towards hopping onto the e-procurement train isn’t completely unjustified either. Online procurement does pose some privacy concerns that traditional procurement processes do not. However, the increased transparency and attenuation of corruption balance out the consequences. Online procurement systems not only offer monetary benefits to the government but also solidify the economy. All in all, the tide is changing towards digitalization with each passing day. Government entities no longer seem to be interested in rowing upstream.

Clare Louise

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