It is a fundamental responsibility of the state to spend funds collected through taxation for the benefit of its citizens. In doing so, laws and systems must be in place to get the most suitable goods and services for the fairest cost, operate in a transparent manner, provide open and fair competition to vendors, and avoid or eliminate corruption or the appearance of corruption.
Governments are accountable not only for the way they conduct their procurement processes but also for the budgetary priorities under which they procure goods and services. Given that most governments, even in developed countries, do not have unlimited funds, an important role is deciding the relative importance and priorities for spending on transportation, education, foreign policy and a myriad of other government functions. In spite of such constraints, public procurement in OECD countries generally accounts for 15 percent of GDP, higher in developing countries. As a consequence, public procurement represents one of the largest opportunities for corruption as well as for prevention of corruption, and can be a substantial source of development funding.
IDLO implements a variety of programs designed to further the development of well-governed public and private sector institutions in developing countries. Project activities have addressed issues such as improving the integrity of corporate governance, ethics and compliance in the public sector, anti-corruption mechanisms and the overall improvement of regulatory systems. IDLO provides technical assistance to countries in aligning the legal and policy frameworks of their national procurement systems to international best practices, as well as instituting an appropriate and sustainable training system for public officials responsible for public procurement. In its training programs, IDLO instills the fundamental principles that should guide a procurement system -- fairness, transparency, competition, efficiency and openness -- and the instruments and international best practices to incorporate the principles in domestic legislation, such as the UNCITRAL Model Law, the EC Procurement Directives or the WTO GPA.
IDLO’s historical experience in procurement training has always been highly regarded by international experts and multilateral donors. IDLO also has developed technical assistance expertise, most recently through a three-year World Bank-funded project on public procurement capacity building in Afghanistan. IDLO has now launched an innovative e-learning public procurement course, which will run six sessions in 2011, in English, French and Spanish. Future public procurement e-courses are being developed in specialized subjects such as the UNCITRAL Public Procurement Model Law (to be adopted by the Commission in 2011), PPP, contract management and dispute resolution.