Government agencies slow with online bidding process

By Bui Kim   November 11, 2019 | 06:42 am PT
Government agencies slow with online bidding process
Workers repairing the asphalt on a bridge in southern Can Tho City. Photo by VnExpress/Cuu Long.
Vietnam targets having 50 percent of its bidding packages auctioned online this year, but government bodies have only achieved 30.8 percent so far.

In the first ten months, a total of 30,250 packages worth a combined VND88.34 trillion ($3.81 billion) were successfully auctioned online, according to statistics released by the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) Friday.

In terms of value, these accounted for 13.4 percent of all packages during the period, compared to the government’s target of at least 15 percent.

These packages are typically for the procurement of goods, services and construction projects.

According to MPI, only three out of 37 government bodies have reached both volume and value targets in online bidding, namely national broadcaster Vietnam Television, the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics, and the Ministry of Information and Communications.

Eight others have reached value targets, but not volume. 21 agencies reported that the value of packages successfully bid online fell below 10 percent of their total. 32 had selected only below 40 percent of their packages through online bidding, and seven had not begun implementing online bidding at all.

By locality, only three of 63 provinces and cities have achieved their targets in terms of both volume and value of online bidding. Over half of localities conducted online bidding for less than 10 percent of their packages, and 16 below 5 percent, according to MPI.

An official from the Vietnam Road Administration said that the reason government bodies have been slow with online bidding is that many contractors are not familiar with it. Their knowledge and experience of online bidding is limited, so they have been hesitant to participate.

Some packages that are bid online are also unattractive. For instance, some road maintenance packages are worth a lot but its works are spread over a long distance. Such packages fail to attract big contractors, while small ones are afraid to bid online for lack of experience, he added.

The government resolution setting online bidding targets for government bodies, which took effect January 1, aimed to increase the effectiveness, transparency and competitiveness of the bidding process.

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