What is meant by national procurement systems?
The national procurement system is the overall framework for public procurement in a country including the legal framework, organizational set-up including arrangements for control and oversight, as well as the procedures and practices. In terms of assessment, it is typical to differentiate between assessing the framework itself and assessing how well it functions in practice. Conducting an assessment at regular intervals can serve various purposes including:
- Identifying strengths and weaknesses in the national procurement system
- Creating a baseline against which to measure and demonstrate progress
Typically, an assessment of a national procurement system will go beyond the public sector framework itself, and also look at the relationship between the public procurement system and other parts of government, the functioning of the national supply market and its relationship with the public procurement system, as well as the role of civil society.
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procurement challenges" to support your
Assessing the national procurement system
Since 2006, the OECD-DAC Methodology for Assessment of Procurement Systems (MAPS) has become a widely used tool for countries to assess their national procurement system. MAPS provides a "standard" for the overall framework for national public procurement system with a set of baseline indicators (BLIs) against which a country can benchmark. MAPS is structured around 4 Pillars and scoring is done at the sub-indicator level on a rating of 0 to 3 where 3 is the highest. The four pillars are:
- Legislative and regulatory framework
- Institutional Framework and Management Capacity
- Procurement Operations and Market Practices
- Integrity and Transparency of the Public Procurement System
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Recommendations for using MAPS:
- Combine with an assessment of the country context
- Explore root causes
- Scope: MAPS is a standard framework that can be adapted
- Data collection: Include data sources on root causes not only MAPS indicators and sub-indicators
Examples of challenges in national procurement systems
The numbers of challenges facing national procurement systems are many and varied, but some examples are included here:
- Compliance with legal/regulatory framework
- Conditions of service, incl. career paths and professionalization for procurement staff
- Capacity and resources of a procurement normative and regulatory body
- Level of centralisation/decentralisation straining procurement capacity
- Management information systems
- Weak links to planning and budgeting systems
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While MAPS is the main tool available for assessing national procurement systems, other tools can provide additional input to an assessment focused on the national level. Some tools are listed below.
See the file collection for all resources in this toolkit.
- OECD/DAC: Methodology for assessing procurement systems (MAPS)
- PCDC: Public Procurement Capacity Development Guide
- World Bank: Country Procurement Assessment Report (CPAR): The purpose of the CPAR is to assess the current state of the public procurement system and other factors that affect public procurement in the country in order to identify its strengths and weaknesses for purposes of developing an action plan to address weaknesses and improve the system.
- PEFA Secretariat: Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA) Framework: A performance assessment framework for Pubic Financial Management Systems. The framework includes a number of indicators relating to public procurement, some of which are linked to MAPS indicators.