On July 21, 2015, the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved a new policy governing procurement in projects financed by the Bank.

In the new Procurement Framework, the World Bank said its management “will examine options to collect, and make available the beneficial ownership information for legal entities participating in Bank-financed procurements.”

In June, Transparency International-USA together with 106 other civil society organizations from around the world had asked the World Bank to collect and disclose the identity of all legal entity bidders on Bank-financed contracts and publish this information in an open data format to foster transparency in contracting practices. See Transparency International-USA press release dated June 8, 2015. The Bank sought for public comment on procurement and how to reform it and held 61 consultation meetings in 37 countries.

The Bank’s procurement system affects a portfolio of about $42 billion in over 1,800 projects in 172 countries. “A portfolio this size needs a modern and nimble procurement approach that gives our clients the best value for each dollar that we invest,” said Hartwig Schafer, World Bank Vice President for Operations Policy and Country Services.

“For the first time,” it said Tuesday, “the World Bank will allow any contract award decisions to be based on criteria other than lowest price, including quality and sustainability.” It was promised that Procurements will be speedier as prior reviews of contracts will be limited to those with the highest risk and highest value. The Bank also wants to allocate resources to provide help to fragile countries and small states to assist them better in procurements financed by the Bank.

The new Procurement Framework will go into effect in 2016. Find the new Procurement Framework here.