, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 27 – The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors have approved a new policy governing procurement in projects financed by the bank.
The new framework will allow the World Bank to better respond to the needs of client countries, while preserving robust procurement standards throughout bank-supported projects.
The World Bank’s Chief Procurement Officer Christopher Browne says the new framework is central to the bank’s development mission because it protects investments and at the same time helps clients deliver results in their development projects.
For the first time, the World Bank will allow any contract award decisions to be based on criteria other than lowest price, including quality and sustainability.
Procurements will also be speedier as prior reviews of contracts will be limited to those with the highest risk and highest value.
In specific circumstances and with approval from the bank, clients will be able to use the procurement arrangements of other multilateral development partners or of national agencies.
The bank’s procurement system affects a portfolio of about $42billion (Sh4.2trillion) in over 1,800 projects in 172 countries that includes Kenya.
The World Bank Group’s portfolio in Kenya includes 23 national and nine regional operations with a total commitment of $4.7 billion (Sh477.8 billion).
The projects are mainly focused in the areas of transport, energy, water, urban, health, public sector management and social protection.
In fiscal year 2014, the bank has approved Sh62.5 billion compared to $615 million (Sh62.3 billion) committed in 2013.
“A portfolio this size needs a modern and nimble procurement approach that gives our clients the best value for each dollar that we invest,” said World Bank Vice President for Operations Policy and Country Services Hartwig Schafer.
The new procurement framework will go into effect in 2016 where value for money, sustainable development and integrity are the vision of the new approach.
It will help clients get better development results as it gives the World Bank the space and capacity to significantly increase its support to help countries develop their own procurement systems.
The bank will also allocate resources to provide hands-on help to fragile countries, small states or others in the greatest need to assist them in procurements financed by the bank.