DUSHANBE, October 1, 2014, Asia-Plus -- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has altered the way its clients procure plant and equipment, civil works, and consultant services to improve the efficiency of implementing the projects it finances, release issued by ADB says, noting that slow procurement processes and practices have been holding back project implementation which, in turn, leads to unnecessarily high costs for clients.

Faster project implementation will improve results on the ground.

The main changes are: cut procurement timelines by more than half; increase the thresholds for national competitive bidding processes; allow clients greater flexibility when choosing procurement methods; delegate greater authority to ADB country offices on procurement matters; link fiduciary oversight to agency, project, and contract risks; streamline internal prior- and post-procurement reviews; overhaul procurement documentation and establish a procurement review system; and provide tailor-made capacity-building programs.

The change to procurement processes is one of several reforms coming out of a mid-term review of ADB’s long-term strategic framework, Strategy 2020.  This review culminated in an action plan aimed at helping ADB respond better and faster to changing market conditions in both low- and middle-income countries, including on issues such as inclusion, regional cooperation, and climate change.  The reforms will foster greater efficiency, delegation and proximity to clients, innovation, higher leveraging of finance and knowledge, and greater private sector investment, including public-private partnerships.

ADB, based in Manila, dedicates itself to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration.  Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members – 48 from the Asia-Pacific region.  In 2013, ADB assistance totaled $21.0 billion, including cofinancing of $6.6 billion.