PETALING JAYA: The Government could save up to RM2.3bil by increasing the competitiveness and transparency in the public procurement system, said the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (Ideas).
Its chief executive officer Wan Saiful Wan Jan said this was provided the Government adopts four measures proposed in Ideas’ new policy briefing paper, which were based on the European procurement system.
If adopted, calculations show that Malaysia could save around RM400mil to RM2.3bil depending on the percentage of non-transparent public procurement.
“This is a very solid way for the Government to cut spending. It won’t be through reducing the number of projects, but through reducing costs to make the process better,” he told The Star.
The paper, entitled Transparency in European public procurement: benefits and lessons for Malaysia, noted that Malaysia had “rather robust procurement regulations” but had areas to improve upon.
“Transparency is one of the core principles in EU procurement. It is required in all stages of procurement but particularly in tendering, evaluation and review, in order to ensure non-discrimination and equal treatment,” wrote its authors Dr Francesco Stolfi and Sri Murniati.
The first two measures are to ensure contracting agencies add clearer and more detailed evaluation criteria in tender notices as well as provide reasons for choosing contractors and rejecting others to both winning and losing contractors as well as to the public.
Stolfi and Sri also recommended that a review phase be incorporated so contractors could file complaints if they are unhappy with the decisions made by the agencies.
Currently, objections are only allowed within the first 28 and 14 days of the award of tenders for international and local procurement.
“The Government should create parameters to ensure bumiputra preferences in Government procurement are less distortive to competition, and are awarded in a transparent manner,” they wrote.