GovernanceOct 19, 2022
Transition to e-Procurement: Are the Municipalities Ready?
- Ali Taha
Lebanon’s Public Procurement Law was passed by Parliament on 30 June 2021 to improve the nation’s public procurement system by using an evidence-based approach that applies best practices and standards. This law is one of the most important pieces of legislation regulating the interaction between the public and private sectors. The Institute of Finance estimates that public procurement represents around 20% of central government expenditures.
The volume of transactions, financial interests, complexity of the process, and close interaction between public officials and businesses, among a multitude of stakeholders, make public procurement one of the most corruption-prone government activities. The new procurement law is therefore a key regulatory instrument to achieve better transparency and integrity in government spending. To that end, one of the most crucial elements of this legislation is the establishment of an e-procurement platform.
There are doubts, however, about the capacity of government institutions to transition to an electronic procurement system. Skepticism is especially pronounced in the case of municipalities, which are experiencing a sharp drop in their revenues and a widening set of other social and economic challenges, primarily due to Lebanon’s ongoing financial meltdown. This policy brief aims to identify the main challenges facing the implementation of electronic public procurement at the municipal level and proposes a set of recommendations that can contribute to its success.Ali Taha is a political scientist and researcher at LCPS. His research focuses on public policy, governance, and energy. He is also involved in writing “The Government Monitor” series, organizing educational webinars, and supervising the LCPS Legislative Tracker, an interactive online tool that allows users to analyze the policy-making agenda of the Lebanese government. Prior to LCPS, Ali worked as a program director at Delegations for Dialogue, facilitating research in conflict zones. He holds an MSc in International Relations from the University of Amsterdam, specializing in energy politics, and a BA in Political Science/International Affairs from the Lebanese American University.