Sri Lanka introduces an electronic Government Procurement System

E-Procurement

Remarks made by Mangala Samaraweera, Minister of Finance at the launching event of the Electronic Government Procurement (e-GP) System on 29th May 2019

  • Let me first of all thank my Ministry officials, particularly Director-General Algama and his team of the Public Finance Department, for yet again achieving an important benchmark in realizing more transparency and efficiency in our public services.
  • In fact, Sri Lanka received the South Asian Innovative Procurement Award at the fifth South Asian Public Procurement Conference in New Delhi last year.
  • Today, of course, in advancing our efforts to transform the traditional manual procurement process into a modern system, the Finance Ministry places Sri Lanka on par with very advanced nations, that include Singapore, European Union and Canada.
  • Sri Lanka, being a States Party to the United Nations Convention against Corruption, has the international obligations to improve our public procurement processes.
  • The Article 9 of the Corruption Convention refers to public procurement and management of public finances, whereby the State Parties are requested 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.
  • We, as a country, annually spend around a quarter of our government expenditure on public procurement, which amounts to nearly 15% of the GDP. Considering the magnitude of that total annual expenditure, it needs closer attention and scrutiny from all the stakeholders in the public management systems. Also procurement plays a strategic function.
  • Corruption, misappropriation and mismanagement of public assets must be tackled with a policy of zero tolerance, which from my point of view, remain difficult in our part of the world because of systemic weaknesses.
  • I therefore as the Minister of Finance received the approval of the Cabinet of Ministers to introduce an electronic Government Procurement System, which is launched today, to address the existing shortcomings and to facilitate fast tracking procurement decisions.
  • In Sri Lanka, the decisions of implementing many important projects are lagging behind because of the manual system that links to the decades’ old complicated governance mechanisms. Now in the first quarter of the 21st Century, Sri Lanka as a modern nation, must look forward to utilize new technologies to make our decisions faster, transparent and more accountable.
  • Here, I am convinced that, this new e-GP system will save nearly Rupees 30 billion to the Treasury, while improving the public financial management to a greater extent.