The parliamentary standing committee on planning ministry Thursday approved the Public Procurement Bill-2006 paving the way for enactment of the new legislation in the next parliament session.
It took the decision at a meeting at the Jaitya Sangsad (JS) after reviewing the proposed bill that was tabled in the JS last month aiming to bring transparency and accountability in the public procurement process.
The meeting finalised the bill without major changes expect for a few linguistic corrections, said M Akbar Ali, chairman of the committee.
"Provision of a review board headed by a retired judge in the proposed law will be able to check corruption in public purchase," he hoped.
No government official, however, could represent the review board as per the proposed law for ensuring neutrality.
The proposed bill was sent to the standing committee asking it to complete the scrutiny within two months.
Now it will be placed in the next JS session that is likely to start during the last week of the current month, sources said.
Awami League parliamentarian and committee member Lutfar Rahman said they unanimously finalised the bill for the greater interest of the country and its people.
He underscored the need for such a law as it will help the government curb corruption and misuse in the procurement process. He observed that action could not be taken against the offenders in the past in absence of such a law.
According to the proposed law the violators will be charged under the Government Servants (Discipline and Appeal) Rules, 1985, Prevention of Corruption Act, 1947 and Penal Code 1960.
Besides, recommendation for departmental action has also been suggested in the proposed law.
The much-talked-about proposed law has a total of 79 clauses in seven chapters, sources said.
The government procures goods, works, and services worth nearly US$ 3.0 billion annually.
A substantial amount has been allegedly wasted due to misuses and corruptions as the existing procurement guideline proved to be highly flawed.
The Berlin-based Transparency International has rated Bangladesh the world's most corrupt country five times in a row.
The government was under pressure both from the civil society and donor agencies to bring reforms in its procurement mechanism so that alleged unabated corruption can be contained.