India makes e-procurement mandatory for all of government

Move to further streamline public sector procurement.

The Indian Government has made it mandatory for whole-of-government to source goods and services from its procurement site, in efforts to boost transparency and streamline public sector procurement. The Government e-Marketplace, GeM, was launched last year and sells over 2,500 products across 469 registered government departments. The Directorate General of Supplies and Disposals - the central purchase team under India’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry - is currently working on increasing the number of services on GeM, ranging from cleaning and plumbing services to the digitisation of records, according to the New Indian Express. Users of GeM will need to register their mobile numbers and biometric IDs before using the service, and the government will pay suppliers within 10 days from the date of purchase. In the region, countries like Philippines, Korea and Singapore have also digitised their procurement processes. The Philippines Government Electronic Procurement System allows money to be tracked throughout by linking public finances to its contracts database. KONEPS in Korea uses fingerprint ID to authenticate its users, and hosts products, services and construction works. The platform can be used on smartphones and pushes bidding updates to suppliers through texts. Singapore’s GeBIZ allows agencies to combine purchases to enjoy bulk discounts from suppliers. It was launched in 2006 for agencies to submit small value orders - at less than S$3,000 - but has since expanded to purchase contracts above S$70,000.