Procurement in the Public Sector

Public Procurement

Government procurement is a major marketplace in developing and developed economies, accounting for around 12% of global GDP. This huge size calls for transparent, fair and accessible tendering system so it can bring about innovation, growth and business opportunities. See our guide to write a winning proposal

It is important to become familiar with tendering procedures before searching and applying for such opportunities. Governments publish tenders i.e. ‘Invitation to Tender’ or ‘ITT’ which is an offer of a contract to suppliers for procurement of goods or services. These bids are published in newspapers or other official outlets. In response, the suppliers submit their bids which are evaluated on their technical, functional and financial merits. The project is awarded to the best bid. This seemingly simple procedure is governed by many rules and regulations which can make proposal writing a tedious task.

Lately e-procurement is all the rage, because it has expedited bidding procedure by reducing unnecessary file work and documentation. Bidding information is available to everyone and submissions can be made online by all suppliers.

Governments are encouraging the use of OSS in public sector

Government and companies all over the world are using Open Source software solutions to build new products and collaborations tools. We see it everywhere: it powers cloud computing, management systems, Internet of Things, Big Data, blockchain, artificial intelligence and even in space technology. Open Source is ubiquitous and it’s about time that government agencies take benefit of this software with full confidence. Learn how governments are using OSS.

Smaller OSS vendors find it difficult to break-in the procurement market

United Nations and countries individually are making effort to make public procurement transparent and accessible. World bank study on “Open Source for Global Public Goods” recognizes the problems sabotaging the open procurement and pledge to: “enable a more deliberate approach to building information systems that can serve as a global public good, rather than reinventing the wheel every time. Despite business processes being largely the same in various country contexts, each new project is typically built from scratch, as if there were no templates, code libraries or models, or lessons learned on which to base new implementations. Implementations in some domains are dominated by a few IT vendors that present significant switching costs and lock-in to governments that are already resource constrained. OSS solutions have the potential to address the challenges mentioned above and facilitate efficiency, robustness, security, and interoperability of information systems.”

The way ahead

Despite the best efforts of governments, OSS has not achieved its full potential. There are still many roadblocks ahead. Explore these in detail

Learn what roadblocks smaller OSS vendors are facing