Public Procurement Review Software

A Corruption Prevention Tool for Public Procurement Regulatory Authorities

Tackling corruption at its source

Ten Challenges for Implementing PP Reform and goPRS Response

goPRS supports the implementation of Public Procurement reform by providing tools that allow the timely and accurate exchange of information between procuring entities and centralized oversight authorities at critical stages of the procurement process.  goPRS enables effective oversight by tracking plan and budget implementation, legal and regulatory compliance, procedural due process conformity, and the proper exercise of delegated authority.  The ability of goPRS to collect and organize data from individual procurements into an accessible nationwide database provides decision makers with the means to understand and analyze spending patterns, pinpoint the source of losses both in time and money, and increase the overall effectiveness and efficiency of procurement expenditures as well as the successful completion of projects and delivery of services.   The capacity of goPRS to identify suspicious actions and patterns of behavior is a powerful tool in the effort to detect and prevent fraud and corruption in government procurement.

In addition, goPRS is a tool that helps to meet challenges faced by procurement officials in planning and budgeting for the acquisition of goods, services and works and determining best value for the public money.

 

goPRS supports the implementation of PP reform in the organizational arrangement with a decentralization of the procurement function to procuring entities and centralization of oversight, monitoring, prevention and detection of corruption responsibilities to the regulatory body. In this configuration, all parties in a procurement action share some common tools as depicted below. Those tools are critical elements to address the 10 challenges for implementing PP reform.


Features distribution between Procurement Review Agency and the MDAs

Challenge #1: Maintaining a National Price Database

Accurate and up-to-date pricing information is essential in determining best value for public money.  Without access to such data, procurement plans and budgets may be unrealistic.  Without comparison date, it is difficult to determine whether prices included in bids and proposals are reasonable.  goPRS creates a price referencing database which provides information on regional and national prices for use by procurement entities and oversight authorities to better plan, budget and implement procurement projects.

 
Price data per region and date


Variation graph for prices of products

Challenge #2: Maintaining a Contractors and Service Providers Database (CSPD)

In order to determine the appropriate procurement method, it is important to know the number of potential bidders.  For example, is there a sufficient number to ensure adequate competition?  Is the number of bidders so large that pre-qualification is warranted?  As part of determining bidder eligibility, the existence and identity of the bidder must be verified.  goPRS collects, validates and stores information on current and potential vendors and contractors and the persons and entities with which each is related.  As an anti-corruption tool, the CSPD is instrumental in the early detection of risks such as conflicts of interest, phantom companies, collusion and bid-rigging.


Vendor Database showing a specific vendor information and categorization

Challenge #3: Procuring Entity Database

Oversight bodies as well as executive and legislative officials need reliable and timely information to manage finances and prioritize needs and to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of ministries, departments and agencies.  goPRS collects data which can be accessed to create requested reports or queried to retrieve specific data.


MDA database screen showing BPP user information

Challenge #4: Capital budget (Appropriations)/projects database

Planning and budgetary authorizations define the limits of each procurement project.  Problems arise when projects are outside these limits.  goPRS provides the means to compare a proposed procurement with its as-planned purpose and scope of work.  goPRS allows regulatory bodies to kick off oversight of budget appropriations versus reported procurement actions to avoid the abandonment of projects after huge sums of money have been paid out and budget limits are reached before contract completion.

 
Budget Browser showing 2014 budget details


2014 Budget distribution


Budget for a specific MDA


Budget allocation chart

Challenge #5: Complaint Management

Contractor complaints can be "lost in the system". goPRS is a tool to track the progress of contractor complaints through dispute resolution procedures and ensure that each is responded to by the appropriate official in a timely manner. 


Messaging Module in goPRS Enterprise

Challenge #6: Audit Reports

Many public procurement regulations require regulatory bodies to monitor and review the procurement and award of contracts that fall below established approval thresholds.  Many are required to perform procurement audits and submit reports to legislative bodies on both an as-requested and regular basis.  goPRS collects and organizes the necessary data as received and as requested, making it possible to promptly respond to inquiries and requests for information.


Audit analysis matrix

Challenge #7: Activity Reports on Public Procurement

Many reports of regulatory body and procurement entity activities are manually collated from different systems and departments. This is very time consuming and involves disrupting daily tasks.  goPRS reporting module addresses this problem by collecting and storing the required information which can be retrieved and organized on demand. 

 
goPRS Enterprise Dashboard showing recent review requests

Challenge #8: Intelligence or Investigation

Estimates of the amount of procurement-related corruption vary, but all indicate that the sums involved are significant

For example, one estimate of the amount of bribery worldwide is US$ 1 trillion. Other estimates are that 20-30 per cent of the value of procurement may be lost through corruption where it is systematic, indicating very high amounts as procurement itself is estimated to constitute 15 per cent of gross domestic product in OECD countries, a higher percentage in developing economies and up to 45 per cent of government spending in some economies.

Public procurement corruption includes bribery, embezzlement, misappropriation, diversion of property, trading in influence and the performance or failure to perform an act, in violation of laws, by a public official in the discharge of functions, for the purpose of obtaining an undue advantage for self or for another person or entity.

Much of procurement corruption either goes undetected or is detected after the money is gone or a project has failed, leaving public officials with few options to recover the loss.  The risk of "getting caught" is small compared to the potential for financial gains, making it worth the risk to many.

Article 9 of the UN Convention against Corruption requires party-nations to take the necessary steps to establish appropriate systems of procurement, based on transparency, competition and objective criteria in decision-making that are effective in preventing corruption and are able to verify the correct application of rules and procedures.  

The sheer number of individual procurements can quickly overwhelm an oversight authority, delaying completion of the procurement process and contract initiation.  One response has been to raise the threshold authority of procurement entities, thereby increasing the number of procurements that are not subjected to review.  As a result, procurements that should be reviewed for fraud and corruption are not.  Concurrently, the number of contracts falling just below the new threshold may increase to avoid review.

goPRS offers a better solution for responding to the number of procurements in need of review.  Data and documents are automatically transferred from the procurement entity to the oversight authority for review.  Procurement entities receive immediate feedback on whether a request is complete or additional information is needed.  goPRS is able to run checks on individual procurements for indications of fraud and on all procurements for patterns of suspicious behavior indicating possible corruption such as bid rigging, collusion and conflicts of interest.

 
goPRS Intelligence Login Screen


goPRS Intelligence Portal showing Analysis capabilities


goPRS Enterprise procurement request review status with investigation teams

Challenge #9: Supporting MDAs

MDAs communicate with regulatory bodies through different unstructured channels (calls, letters, media, etc.). The need arises to have this line of communication more formal and transparent. The number of MDAs further makes this task a daunting one.

As in any successful system, goPRS has a support module for MDAs. Requests should be systematically channeled and answered by responsible parties. As with all our products, ITS ensures the continuity and support for goPRS and integrates new functionalities and recommendations.



goPRS Web Review Request data-entry screen for MDAs

Challenge #10: Communication standardization with e-procurement systems

goPRS does not interfere with the use of e-procurement systems available in the market. However, as a procurement review and monitoring system, goPRS can be interfaced with e-procurement systems structured to receive and process bids electronically.