USAID-Tarabot, in partnership with the Ministry of Planning, is working with the Government of Iraq to execute its investment budget through fair and transparent procurement systems, enabling a favorable environment for international and domestic businesses and better services for the Iraqi people.
USAID-Tarabot worked with the Governorate of Anbar to support the development and adoption of standardized procurement processes, standard bidding documents, and mechanisms for annual procurement planning in line with international standards. While equipping 14 governorate staff members with this knowledge and these tools, Tarabot also worked alongside them to design the terms of reference, and evaluate the request for proposals for the design and construction of the New Ramadi City, a project that consists of a city center, shopping mall, a school, public park, and a small hotel. This tender was valued at $44 million. The joint preparation of these tenders enabled governorate staff to apply standardized procurement practices on actual public works contracts. The advertisement of this tender has been postponed due to the unstable security situation in the province.
Tarabot also supported the governorate in subscribing to dgMarket, an open source international web portal for the announcement of tenders, a tool that enables the advertisement of contracts in a fair, open, and consistent manner. Since the governorate signed onto dgMarket in 2012, it has posted more than 300 tenders through this venue, widening the pool of expertise responding to the procurement needs of the governorate. Tarabot also supported the governorate in developing procurement plans for 2012 and 2013 to guide their activities, and introduced systems for managing procurement documents to strengthen accountability and transparency in the governorate’s procurement activities.
USAID-Tarabot, in partnership with COMSEC, strengthened the capacity of the Governorate of Anbar to more efficiently implement its capital investment budget by training 22 engineers on modern project management techniques using Project Management Institute (PMI) standards. Training was provided to engineers in PMI processes, estimation techniques and MS Project, feasibility studies, and earned value management.
With Tarabot’s assistance, engineers selected two projects for the application of project management techniques in scheduling: 1) the construction of a shopping center, and medical clinic and lab in Ramadi, budgeted at $20.8 million; and 2) the construction of a 100 meter street in Ramadi, budgeted at $9.25 million. Tarabot’s assistance and the progress of these projects were stalled due to the deteriorating security situation in Anbar province.
The Governorate of Anbar has embraced the project management systems promoted by Tarabot through the establishment of a Project Management Office, which will oversee capital investment projects and ensure effective implementation through the use of internationally recognized methodologies.
Tarabot also supported 13 governorate engineers to prepare them for certification as Project Management Professionals (PMP) through a 35-hour training course and simulation exercises. The 35-hour course is a pre-requisite for registering with the PMI to take the PMP exam. Engineers are now equipped with the techniques, skills, and knowledge required for certification, ensuring the anchoring of sound project management practices in the governorate.
Iraq Development Management System
To support the management of the governorate’s projects, USAID-Tarabot assisted the Governorate of Anbar to operate the Iraq Development Management System (IDMS), an online software package for overseeing and managing the governorate’s capital investment cycle. The system serves as a reliable and credible source of information on the distribution of development projects according to sector, location, and implementing institution. The IDMS feeds information for planning into the decision-making process, and illuminates project implementation performance by entity, sector, or individual projects. This information allows government officials to make wiser decisions with its capital investment resources, and to better identify and address any weaknesses in implementation. This critical step in modernizing Iraq’s public administration contributes to improved efficiency in the capital investment cycle, and promotes transparency and accountability in the allocation of development funds.
Tarabot provided four governorate staff members with training on the system’s initiation and maintenance, including how to update and enter project information into the system, query it for information, and generate reports on projects and their implementation progress.