KOICA holds final consulting workshop on 'enhancing public e-procurement' in Egypt
CAIRO - 21 March 2023: The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), South Korea’s official development aid agency, has held ‘The Final Consulting Workshop on Enhancement of the Public e-Procurement in Egypt’ in cooperation with the General Authority and Government Services (GAGS). This workshop was attended by chairperson of GAGS, country director of KOICA and some representatives among five pilot government entities which are Ministry of Housing, Cairo Governorate, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Health and Cairo University.
In line with ‘Egypt Vision 2030’ and ‘Digital Egypt’, KOICA launched a project titled 'The Enhancement of Public E-procurement in Egypt’s with the budget of USD7.9M last October in cooperation with the Korean expert team and GAGS. The workshop marks the successful completion of the first phase of the project in which the Korean-Egyptian joint working group implemented consulting on analysis of the current status and development of prototype model to be introduced. The working group presented the outcomes of the first performance of the project and participants exchanged useful feedbacks and recommendations that would feed into the second phase to set on building the public e-procurement system.
The ministry of finance has been keen on establishing a digitalized and innovative e-procurement system for the enactment of the ‘Public Procurement Act’ amended in 2018 and sought for experiences of Korea, and the cooperation agreement between Korea and Egypt came to bear the fruit when presidents of both governments met in Cairo in January in 2022.
Since its introduction in 2002, Korea’s public e-procurement system has been recognized for its excellence internationally, receiving the UN Public Service Award in 2003 and the OECD evaluation result that it needed no more improvement in 2004. The system has been benchmarked by many other countries starting with Vietnam in 2008, followed by Mongolia, Tunisia, Jordan, Iraq and Cameroon to name a few. One of the biggest features of the Korean system is ‘PKI, or Public Key Infrastructure’ which encrypt each bid document in every process of the bidding until the opening. This function is accredited to contributing to improve transparency and credibility of the public procurement services. In case of Tunisia, all public tenders are obliged to be posted through the e-procurement system, which is attracting attention as a best practice in the MENA region, such as being selected as an 'Open Government Partnership Award' by UN in 2015.
The Egyptian public e-procurement system to be developed includes 16 functions for ‘One Stop Service’ online for tender notice, submission, opening, evaluation, awarding, contract, payment, e-Catalog and Inventory management including 170,000 item codes that match with UNSPSC. In particular, it aims to drastically reduce the required time and incidental cost in public bidding by minimizing the issuance of about 80 types of submission documents through external information linkage with related agencies such as Ministry of Supply and Internal Trade, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Prime Minister Affiliations, etc.
At the same time, KOICA plans to provide various and advanced capacity building trainings to procurement managers and officers including invitation trainings in Korea and a 3rd country study visit in Tunisia as well as local trainings in Cairo in order to transfer knowledge and technology to utilize the system to the maximum.
Korean ambassador H.E. Mr. Jinwook Hong recognized that this project would contribute to making a great leap in digital transformation of Egyptian government, and also improve the quality of life of Egyptian citizens by enhancing the level of public service through the improvement of efficiency and transparency of public procurement.
Ahead of the joint working group’s presentations on the outcomes of the first phase and next steps, Mr. Mohamed Adel, chairperson of General Authority for Governmental Services welcomed all participants and appreciated the Korean government’s support to establish the e-procurement system. He added the word of encouragement to continue being committed to the next phase to achieve the project goals as everyone has worked hard for the first phase of the project over the past six months.
Country Director of KOICA Ms. Jinyoung Kim congratulated on the achievement and delivered a message that active participation and consist interest of pilot entities is one of the most important key for successful project.
Participants from the pilot entities welcomed the upcoming system that would be expected to reduce cost and time, increase administrative efficiency, execute the government budget transparently and to contribute to revitalizing the public procure market.
The working group is to complete the development of the Egyptian public e-procurement system and to carry out pilot operations within 2023. Ms. Jinyoung Kim, Country Director of KOICA Egypt office mentioned in her closing remarks that KOICA would continuously support to build the system and operating capacities in digital public procurement in Egypt and look forward to witness Egypt as a leader in transferring know-how and operation technique of public e-procurement to MENA region.
KOICA is Korean government agency under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs dedicated to implementing grant aid programs aiming to combat poverty and support sustainable socio-economic growth in developing countries around the world. KOICA Egypt Office provides vocational training education for youths in Egypt, supports digitalization of government services and systems, and carries out programs to strengthen women’s empowerment and to support vulnerable.