Project Name - My Bids
Shameer Kumar Pradhan(Flaresight Pvt. Ltd. / Nepal College of Information Technology)
Almost all of the organizations, whether it is a government body, a company, or a private school, they have to work with other partners in order to achieve their targets. All of them need to buy a thing or the other from suppliers. There could also be a need to construct some infrastructure or train someone. The process to handover the contract is the tender offer or procurement.
In a tender offer, the party offering a contract calls upon potential contractors to bid for the project. The offer is usually printed in a newspaper. The bidder submits the bid also through a manual process. Then tender winner is selected. However in Nepal, it is a common scenario to have quarrels, and fights during the process of submission of tender. Likewise, the offering party is often bullied by different other parties to provide the contract to them. This creates a condition of violence and possibility of the project being given to the party which might not be worthy of that project.
Similarly, most of the tenders are awarded on the basis of lowest price only. However, there are other factors such as quality of work, and in the case of goods, quality of goods, to be considered. Most of the time, these factors are not taken into consideration significantly. Also, it is not clear for other bidders that the lowest bidder is awarded.
An online procurement system can be a helpful tool to make the procurement process efficient. MyBids would provide the facility to different organizations of different types to create account in the system, open bids for projects, and bid on projects. The provision to make the bid value open to public can also be provided so that other bidders can have the transparency. Likewise, quality ratings, reliability of bidders can also be provided. A messaging system can be provided in order for the different parties to communicate with each other and share information.
As of now there is no unified system which provides online procurement service. MyBids will provide a general platform for any kind of organization the provision of procurement, open a bid, bid for projects. This could lead to greater transparency in procurement process in Nepal. Similarly, the chances of violence during procurement process can be minimized, if not fully mitigated.
There is no primary target audience for this system as this is a general system. However, government agencies, corporate houses, NGOs, INGOs, and public and private educational institutions can benefit immensely from this system. Suppliers of different goods, manufacturers, constructors, contractors, and trainers can also get a large number of tenders to bid on.
This system is targeted, as of now, for organizations in Nepal, primarily in and around the capital city of Kathmandu. Anyone with a basic knowledge of computers, internet, and the World Wide Web should be able to work on the system. There are 26 ministries in the Government of Nepal, each of which contains many departments. According to the information provided on the official portal of Government of Nepal, there are 40 other government agencies such as University Grant Commission, Nepal Telecom, and so on.There are also countless other parties such as suppliers, who should find MyBids helpul.
We consulted with few people who are employed in the government agency as well as few suppliers. Most of them think that a system like MyBids can make the process of procurement more efficient than the current system. They said that they believe in the need of transparency in government works to uplift the standard of living of Nepalese people and grow the economy of the country.
However some of them were skeptics. Their argument was that the government of Nepal and its departments are full of corruption. They also said that nobody cares about transparency and anybody would barely use the system. They told that as corruption and inefficiency is deeply rooted in the system how things work in Nepal, it is hard to implement a system that tries to change the status quo.
Despite the thoughts of skeptics, we believe that if we can implement a unified procurement system, it would increase the transparency in the procurement processes of different organizations, and if we can get government agencies on board, it would lead to transparent government tender offers. This could lead to increase in public awareness and participation. We believe that if we can bring transparency in how government works, it could lead to development of democracy in the country and result in the economic growth. A sense of responsibility would be developed in different related parties.
There is no unified system providing online procurement service. MyBids intend to facilitate procurement from many organizations into one location, so that suppliers, and contractors can have easy access to the bids. Likewise, the party offering the tender would also have a pool of suppliers, and contractors to select from.
Nepal Telecom provides online procurement for its own through eproc.ntc.net.np. Likewise, Nepal Army also provides online procurement for itself through eproc.nepalarmy.mil.np. There is not many other agencies using online procurement in Nepal.
Aashish Dhungana works as the lead of procurement division for a government agency. He is responsible to oversee the publication of notice in newspapers. Similarly, his department collects all the bids, and processes the required transaction. It is difficult to select the best bidder in this process and the process is not transparent. He also gets threats sometimes, and also faces with violence in the tender submission process.
Dhungana believes that an online procurement system with clean and easy user interface can make the process efficient. He believes that the process would be more transparent with an online system, and also intends to face less violence and pressure.
Gopal Tamang is the proprietor of Tamang Constructions, which provides construction services of buildings, bridges, and roads. He checks the tender offers in the newspaper, and have to submit the bid manually. Many times, he has faced threats from other bidders who would want to outbid him and get the contract. He also thinks that it would be less stressful and more transparent and easy to bid for the projects online.
Top User Stories
Government employees could be relieved
“It is common for us to face pressure while we open a tender bid. Businessmen and contractors line up to submit the bid. Some of them even bring their sidekicks so that they can threaten other bidders to cancel their bid. Sometimes they even resort to violence. This causes a major tension on us and on the security forces which have to be deployed in a large number. We get threats even after bids are approved. If an online system is implemented, it would mitigate the need to being physically present to submit the bid, thus easing our work.”
– A government officer
Suppliers can bid with ease
“I go through the newspaper every morning to find out information on new opportunities to submit bid on projects. When I find an appropriate chance, I call the organization for more information. I go by myself to submit the bid and deposit the amount. I get threatened by other bidders who use force to get contracts. They even point out to political parties as backers. I feel uncomfortable to work in such condition. The work I do is the only I know how to do and I earn a living from doing it. However, the constant fear has caused me stress. I would love to submit bids online as I know how to operate a computer. I would not have to get stress and I can also know about the price others bidder place.” –
A contract constructor
School get projects done faster and more efficiently
“I run a local school and we have a constant need to keep on purchasing materials for our operation. There are many suppliers in the market. It is hard to find out the best quality product in the lowest cost. There are many suppliers who supply many different things. It would be efficient to get the quotations in a website and order from the website itself. This would shorten the time taken to buy goods and it is more efficient.” –
Director of a local school
MyBids would charge certain fees to the party offering the bid, and the supplier if it is selected in the bid process. There would also be a subscription fee so that only verifiable organizations be member of the system.
MyBids could need to collaborate with the government agencies individually to have them on the system. This would need discussions with those agencies. The organizations should be made to see the value of a unified procurement system. The organizations, and individuals who are actually committed to transparency should be encouraged to support the system.
Initially, the system would be on the web as users can access it through any platform. The primary programming would be done using HTML, CSS, and JQuery on the frontend, and PHP or ASP on the backend. Likewise, this system is going to store a huge amount of data. So database technologies such as Microsoft SQL Server, and/or MySQL should be used for the purpose.
Likewise, data and system security should be maintained using verification, validation, and authentication techniques and technologies available.