UAE government entities are further advancing online procurement by bringing down the time taken between tendering and order fulfilment. SMEs get a special status too. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: The UAE Ministry of Finance has launched the third phase of its Digital Procurement Platform to further digitize the procurement processes for UAE federal entities. It will serves as a single platform for all registered suppliers and federal entities, from tender announcements to final contract signatures, all done online.

“The DPP introduces a flexible procurement policy based on international benchmarking and best practices,” said Mohamed Bin Hadi Al Hussaini, Minister of State for Financial Affairs. “The platform contributes to improving the procurement and contracting processes and enhancing the efficiency of negotiations with suppliers to obtain better prices.”

With 32 federal entities already deploying the DPP, the platform is expected to reduce procurement costs for the government by allowing for the signing of framework agreements with suppliers. Additionally, it will offer a ‘spending report’ feature to ensure transparency and budget control by integrating all procurement and supplier performance data.

SMEs get privileges

Mariam Al Amiri, Assistant Undersecretary for Government Financial Management Sector at MoF, said that the DPP includes a feature for SMEs that will provide exclusive privileges. SMEs will have their own classification on the platform and with easier access to government entities by adding the ‘SMEs’ logo. Moreover, these businesses get 10 per cent of purchases by monitoring their spending percentage on an annual basis, and during the evaluation process, 10 per cent is added while calculating the final score.

SMEs are exempted from submitting a Performance Bond; instead - a retention amount will be deducted from their initial invoices.

Access to data

The DPP offers a new catalogue of commonly procured goods and services by federal entities. Buyers can choose the product based on a pre-contract with the supplier, add it to the shopping cart, and submit their request to obtain the necessary approvals, thereby reducing the procurement process time from 60 days to six minutes.

The MoF has held more than 200 workshops and training sessions to test user acceptance and discuss ideas for designing the platform. It has also added 32 federal entities to the platform, registered and evaluated over 200 technical and financial proposals from participating suppliers, and signed over 100 agreements with suppliers, including SMEs.

The platform offers more than 7,000 products, such as laptops, printers, stationery, and water, in addition to 500 other services across 19 categories included in the DPP Catalogue.

Overall, the third phase of the DPP is expected to enhance the efficiency of procurement and contracting processes across the UAE’s federal entities while ensuring transparency and accountability.