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Public procurement

Public procurement is a crucial component of public services delivery, good governance, and a sustainable economy. Governments around the world spend approximately 12 per cent – 20 per cent of a country’s GDP on public procurement.

Under the auspices of the joint World Bank Group and OECD Development Assistance Committee Procurement Round Table initiative, bilateral and multilateral donors worked together with some developing countries to develop procurement standards for ODA recipients known as the OECD Methodology for Assessing Procurement Systems (MAPS).

MAPS was first created around 2003-2004. With a changing approach to procurement and progressed international commitments, a revision to the MAPS was called for in April 2015 and is now being undertaken. The first draft graduated from the development focus towards a universal ambition, providing a tool for all countries, in the spirit of UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The new MAPS undertook a large and comprehensive public consultation process, being now ready to be tested in selected countries from different income levels, including OECD countries.

In July 2016, a first draft of the revised MAPS was finalised. The new MAPS bears the following key features, when compared to the previous versions:

  • The new MAPS is aspirational, meaning that the MAPS indicators describe high standards providing a direction for reform, instead of minimum standards that are required to be attained.
  • The new MAPS is based on principles: Value for money, transparency, fairness, and good governance.
  • The new MAPS has an enhanced structure, including a newly introduced analysis of country context and optional modules focusing on selected elements of the public procurement process, allowing to go deep and complement the “core” indicators.
  • The new MAPS contains several quantitative indicators to measure performance, and makes it mandatory to use these indicators.

The revised MAPS consists of core indicators, contextual elements, such as an analysis of the country context, as well as supplementary modules, as outlined in the figure below. The fourteen core indicators are divided into four topical pillars and consist of 54 sub-indicators with specific assessment criteria.

MAPS core indicators

The first draft of the revised MAPS rests on a broad consensus. The revision is well advanced and in line with agreed schedule: The stakeholder group has been meeting every two to four months since the beginning in June 2015; the consolidated revised text was agreed by the group in July 2016. From July 1 to 31 October 2016, public consultations took place, part of which was a meeting in Dakar, Senegal (8-9 Nov. 2016), to present and discuss the draft for the first time to a wider audience, in a formal setting. As next steps, the feedback received during the public consultations will be incorporated into the MAPS, and testing of the MAPS will begin in selected countries across different regions and income levels in the last quarter of 2016 and first quarter of 2017. The supplementary modules will be elaborated in the first months of 2017; the final tool is expected for mid-2017.