What is meant by sectors and procuring entities?
In the public sector, procurement is conducted within organisations. Most countries operate with a decentralised or delegated approach to procurement which means that procurement is conducted in Ministries, and in local government organisations including municipalities, districts and the like. In some cases a procurement assessment will go beyond an individual organisation to an entire sector.
A procurement assessment at the sector or entity level will typically have a more operational focus than one at the national level. At this level, the function of procurement is to support the sector or organisation in fulfilling its goals and objectives. The capability requirements and procedures to conduct procurement will be different depending on the sector or category of procurement.
When conducting a procurement assessment of an entity or sector it is necessary to have an understanding of:
- Strategy, goals and objectives or the organization and/or sector
- A clear picture of the organisation or sector's procurement profile (including what, how, from whom and from where goods and services are purchased).
Assessing the sector or procuring entity
Unlike for national procurement systems, no widely accepted assessment tool exists for assessments at the sector or organizational level. Some of the available tools are used by donors to assess partner institutions for the purposes of capacity assessment and/or risk management. Caution should be exercised as risk and capacity assessment have different objectives: Capacity assessment is intended to help transform procurement, while risk assessment is intended to manage risk.
Download the files "Sample Framework for a Procurement Assessment for an Organization" and "Example of capacity assessment tool for the health sector" to support your work.
Key principles for assessing sectors or entities:
- Ensure that all actors involved within the scope of the assessment are included as well as the relationships between them, which often are the source of bottlenecks
- When the focus is on a sector, it is important to conduct a mapping of all the sector organizations to ensure that neither too many nor too few are included
- The goal for procurement transformations in a sector or organization should be a level of capacity that is fit for purpose i.e. appropriate to the procurement profile of the organization
Examples of procurement challenges in sectors and procuring entities
- Lack of clarity about roles and responsibilities
- Poor coordination and knowledge sharing between different actors
- Problems with forecasting and procurement planning leading to insufficient and inappropriate goods, services and works being procured
- Problems with links to the budget
- Weak supply chain management leading to losses, delays and procured goods not reaching end users
- Inadequate record keeping and management information
- Procurement seen as strictly an administrative function
- Lack of appropriate skills and knowledge by those handling procurement resulting in reduced competition, lack of transparency, and deficiencies throughout the procurement process including lack of technical expertise that can limit types of goods and services that can be procured and how
- Non-compliance with procurement rules - often because of lack of planning or because they are seen to provide a bottleneck
- Inappropriate political influence in the procurement process
- Poor contract management
- Ineffective internal control and external scrutiny of procurement transactions
- Private sector lacks knowledge or trust in public procurement system resulting in limited competition.
An overview of tools at the sector and procuring entity level is included in the list below.
See the file collection for all resources in this toolkit.
- Office of Government Commerce: Procurement Capability Review Model and Standards Framework Version 4.0
- European Commission: Toolkit for Capacity Development Tool 2a: Assessing Organisational Capacity: Checklist for Organisational Assessment
- Global Fund for Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria: Procurement and Supply Management Assessment Tool