The Methodology for Assessing Procurement Systems provides a common tool which developing countries and donors can use to assess the quality and effectiveness of procurement systems.
Version 4 of the Benchmarking and Assessment methodology has been approved for testing and ongoing application of lessons learned through field experience.
Increasing the effectiveness, efficiency and transparency of public procurement systems is an on-going concern of governments and of the international development community. All have recognised that increasing the effectiveness of the use of public funds, including funds provided through official development assistance (ODA), requires the existence of an adequate national procurement system that meets international standards and that operates as intended.
Under the auspices of the joint World Bank / OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) Procurement Round Table initiative, developing countries and bilateral and multilateral donors worked together from 2003 – 2004 to develop a set of tools and standards that provide guidance for improvements in procurement systems and the results they produce. The Round Table Initiative culminated with the adoption in December 2004 of the "Johannesburg Declaration" including a commitment for the adoption of the Baseline Indicators Tool as the agreed international standards for assessment of national procurement systems. This tool was incorporated into the Preliminary DAC Guidelines and Reference Series – Harmonising Donor Practices for Effective Aid Delivery: Volume III (Strengthening Procurement Capacities in Developing Countries) which was tabled during the High level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Paris in March, 2005. Following the conclusion of the Round Table initiative, under the coordination of the Working Party on Aid Effectiveness of the OECD/DAC, the Joint Venture for Procurement was created and has further advanced the development of the methodology for application of the baseline indicators and associated compliance and performance indicators.
The methodology for assessment of national procurement systems is intended to provide a common tool which developing countries and donors can use to assess the quality and effectiveness of national procurement systems. The understanding among the participants in this process is that the assessment will provide a basis upon which a country can formulate a capacity development plan to improve its procurement system. Similarly, donors can use the common assessment to develop strategies for assisting the capacity develop plan and to mitigate risks in the individual operations that they decide to fund. The long term goal is that countries will improve their national procurement systems to meet internationally recognised standards enabling greater effectiveness in the use of funds to meet country obligations.
It should be noted that the methodology and the tool have capacity development as a core objective; progress is dependent upon country ownership and commitment by donors and partner countries to implementing the development program. During the coming years between now and the next High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness to be held in Ghana in 2008, the tool and the methodology will be tested at country level. The results of these field tests and the lessons learned from these experiences will be fed back to improve and refine the tool and the methodology.
Questions or comments should be addressed to: Aid Effectiveness Division, Development Co-operation Directorate, OECD/DAC (DAC.Contact@oecd.org )