The government Monday approved the proposed Public Procurement Act 2005 aiming at establishing transparency and curbing corruptions in public purchase.
The much-talked-about new law was okayed at the cabinet division meeting with Prime Minister Khaleda Zia in the chair. The Act has 79 clauses in seven chapters, Planning Commission sources said.
The law will now be sent to parliament for enactment.
The act has provision of punishment for violators. It recommended scrapping any deal on supply or purchase for violation of the public procurement act 2005.
It recommended imposing ban on the delinquent suppliers or contractors. Details about them will be posted in the concerned ministry website.
For breaching the Public Procurement Act 2005 by the public officials, the law has recommended punishment in accordance with the1985 government regulations, the sources added.
The government procures goods, works, and services worth nearly US$ 3 billion annually.
But the existing procurement guidelines have been blamed for huge wastage of public resources.
Bangladesh has been named most corrupt country five times in a row by an international corruption watchdog.
The government has been under pressure both from the civil society and donor agencies to carry out reforms in public procurement so that the bureaucrats and contractors are prevented from alleged involvement in graft and corruption.
Among the other features of the new act, formation of an eleven member advisory committee has been suggested. The committee will advise on amendment of the law in future.
Besides, another committee comprising former bureaucrats and selected representatives from the country's apex trade body has also been suggested for review ing the act time to time.
The new act, preparation of which started nearly one year ago, has made it mandatory to publish advertisements in newspapers 21 days before the bidding.
The law may help revolutionise the government procurement process as around 70 per cent of allocations under the development budget are being spent on the purchase of goods and services.
Prepared by the Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation Department (IMED) of the Planning Commission, the first four chapters of the act deal with general information and conditions.
The other chapters deal with sensitive issues like appointment of consultants, advertisement, pre qualification criteria, final selection, cancellation of deal or contract and punishment.