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.
When Tarabot intervened to assist the governorate in reforming their procurement practices, it found that the governorate’s procurement department was entirely new and its staff inexperienced in procurement procedures. Tarabot worked with the Governorate of Salah ad Din to support the development and adoption of standardized procurement processes, standard bidding documents, and mechanisms for annual procurement planning. Additionally, Tarabot introduced Ministry of Planning procurement regulations, and supported the governorate’s staff in ensuring their activities are in line with them.
Tarabot equipped 41 governorate staff members with this knowledge and these tools, and supported the development of two tenders: 1) a technical assessment of works contracts for the construction of an airport in the province; and 2) the purchase of medical equipment and hospital supplies, valued at $10 million. Tarabot worked alongside staff of the procurement department to help develop contracts, apply standard bidding documents for consultancy services, and how to select contractors for the assessment tender. To aid in the purchase of necessary medical equipment, Tarabot worked with staff to prepare bid specifications, bid opening and analysis, and how to select contractors. The advertisement of these contracts is pending the approval of the Iraqi budget.
Tarabot also supported the governorate in subscribing to dgMarket, an open source international web portal for the announcement of tenders. This venue enables the governorate to advertise contracts in a fair, open, and consistent manner. Additionally, Tarabot introduced systems for managing procurement records and reporting; thereby, enhancing transparency in the governorate’s contracting practices and processes. Tarabot assisted the governorate in completing its 2012 procurement plans to guide its procurement activities.
USAID-Tarabot, in partnership with COMSEC, strengthened the capacity of the Governorate of Salah ad Din to more efficiently implement its capital investment budget by training two 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.
Tarabot also supported eight 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 within the Governorate of Salah ad Din.
Iraq Development Management System
To support the management of the governorate’s projects, USAID-Tarabot assisted the Governorate of Salah ad Din 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 five 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.