Public Procurement

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 Maysan 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 55 governorate staff members with this knowledge and these tools, Tarabot also worked alongside them to prepare prequalification documents, and provide training in the use of standard bidding documents for works contracts to support the development of a tender for the construction of 500 low-cost housing units. The tendering and award of this contract is pending the approval of the Iraqi budget.

Tarabot supported the governorate in subscribing to dgMarket, an open source international web portal for the announcement of tenders, a tool that enables the governorate to advertise contracts in a fair, open, and consistent manner.

Tarabot also introduced systems for managing procurement documents; thereby, enhancing transparency in the governorate’s contracting practices and processes. Tarabot assisted the governorate in completing its 2012, 2013, and 2014 procurement plans to guide its procurement activities; and the drafting of a sustainability plan to ensure the anchoring of sound practices.

Project Management

USAID-Tarabot, in partnership with COMSEC, strengthened the capacity of the Governorate or Basrah to more efficiently implement its capital investment budget by training 29 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 went on to apply their new skills on a project for the construction of a primary healthcare center, budgeted at $1 million. One of the most remote areas in Maysan governorate, Al Majar Al Kabeer District has been suffering from the lack of health services for decades. To address the issue, the governorate has set out to construct this center which would provide approximately18,000 residents with pediatric and general health care. Tarabot has provided technical assistance as 35 engineers apply PMI processes and MS Project to estimate and schedule the project. A master schedule has been developed that accounts for a range of risk factors and will improve the likelihood of the project’s on-time completion. Through hands-on application alongside Tarabot advisors, ministry engineers have begun to translate their knowledge into practice.

Iraq Development Management System

To support the management of the governorate’s projects, USAID-Tarabot assisted the Governorate of Maysan 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.