IDB approves ICT project funding to help SMEs in e-procurement processes

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Inter-American Development Bank's (IDB) Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) has approved a total US$1.2mn in grants to fund five projects that use ICT to help micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) participate in public e-procurement processes in the Bahamas, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador and Nicaragua, the bank announced.

The so-called "Strengthening Public Procurement Systems through ICTs and MSMEs participation (ICT4GP)" program looks to build capacity in more than 500,000 microentrepreneurs through 15 projects to be approved in the next four years, said program coordinator Fredy Bentancurt.

Under the ICT4GP program - co-financed by the International Development Research Centre of Canada (IDRC) - the MIF will look to support the implementation of best practices and use of ICT to promote efficiency, transparency and MSME participation in government procurement processes.

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In the Bahamas, the project will be executed through the finance ministry. And in Brazil, the project will adapt the federal government procurement system to include Comprasnet, a portal that facilitates MSMEs participation in public procurement. In Chile, the project will be executed through public procurement office ChileCompra.

Meanwhile, Ecuador's national public procurement institute will handle the project, and Nicaragua's finance and public credit ministry will develop the ICT4GP program.