Use of IT for Monitoring Public Procurement in India

The days of Manual submission of bids in Public Procurement are numbered in India. In a process that started early in the year 2012-13 E Procurement has now more or less completely replaced Manual Procurement. But it dosen’t stop here as Information Technology is being increasingly used in Procurement Monitoring. Some key milestones stages at which monitoring is required in any Public Procurement cycle are bid Invitation, bid submission, Evaluation and Contract Award. The question therefore emerges regarding the quantum and the timing on the use of IT. The issue of quantum is answered based on an assessment of the current capacity of the environment in which such technologies are being implemented. This includes but not limited to technical knowhow & acceptability of the technology within the implementing department. The second question is the timing of Implementation. Timing means the enabling environment and acceptability of the use of these Technologies.

Let us first look at some bottlenecks in the use of IT Monitoring in Public Procurement in the Indian Context

  1. Over Customization

MIS system’s used for Monitoring Public Procurement provide a detailed report on data analytics and classification. In any case, the risk is that you can get carried away with the customization alternatives. Over customization can make the entire system user unfriendly. The only solution is to discover the customization level based on accurate assessment of the needs.

  1. Provider On-boarding Problems

Some departments find it hard to get used to the new online procurement software frameworks for Procurement Monitoring. It is critical therefore to choose well-informed departments who completely profit by its implementation.

  1. Focus on Implementation

In many cases the focus of IT Monitoring system’s is primarily on Implementation and end results i.e.  efficient & timely monitoring of different stages of Procurement is compromised.

For all its ills simple IT Monitoring systems in Public Procurement in India are not only here to stay but expand and thrive in the Future i.e. till a Blockchain based technology’s replaces these systems altogether.

Author: Amit Sethi