Public Finance International
Procurement specialists have gathered in Kazakhstan this week to share best practice on how to ensure integrity and transparency in public procurement.
The 12th Procurement, Integrity, Management and Openness (PRIMO) Forum, backed by the World Bank and others, draws professionals from 24 countries across Europe and Central Asia to discuss reforms and promote cross-regional cooperation and good governance.
Cyril Muller, World Bank vice president for Europe, said after the first PRIMO Forum took place over a decade ago, the forum had reached a level of “network maturity”.
“[This] provides an opportunity to all key public procurement stakeholders to freely exchange their knowledge, experiences and ideas to foster efficient and sustained regional and global cooperation in public procurement.”
This year, the forum will focus on professionalising the procurement function, which is not considered a specific profession in many of the participating countries.
The bank said this will play a critical role in helping governments to sustain the reform and modernisation of procurement systems.
Previous forums have focused on technological developments such as centralised purchasing of common-use goods and services or electronic procurement, transparency and integrity, and measuring performance.
At the conclusion of the three-day forum, each country will share an action plan to improve procurement over the following year, which will be monitored by governments, international financial institutions and other procurement experts.
The forum is co-sponsored by the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and the Islamic Development Bank, and also supported by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development among others.
Kazakhstan was chosen to host the summit this year based on fundamental improvements the government has made to the procurement process in recent years.