Electronic Procurement (E-Procurement) Implementation in Municipalities: Lessons Learned

Electronic Procurement (E-Procurement) Implementation in Municipalities: Lessons Learned

Rugayah Hashim (Research Management Institute, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia) and Mohd Anuar Mazuki (Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2119-0.ch014


Local authorities or municipalities have different organizational structure and goals and as such implementing a customized information systems project requires a separate evaluation that would fit their needs. In the case of an electronic procurement (e-procurement) system, the implementation of this project at the central government level is not without challenges. Similarly, at the local government level, issues prevailed. Thus, this chapter highlights the issues encountered by twelve local authorities in the state of Selangor, Malaysia. The issues are broken down into four themes, namely, political, economic, social, and technological. It is important to note that local authorities fall within the jurisdiction of the state government; thus, more issues are abound particularly with regards to political interference. Nonetheless, the ultimate goal of having an online public procurement system is a win-win situation for both the local authority concerned and the vendors or suppliers. Hence, identifying the issues and learning from them will limit project failures or extended scheduling. Inherently, the implications of lessons learned from others who have implemented an online public procurement system will provide valuable guidelines for other lagging municipalities, yet at the same time, the late implementers will benefit more as they are able to avoid the pitfalls made by their counterparts that embarked earlier. In fact, the late-comers tend to achieve better success rate and report a significant return of investment.
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Background: Procurement And E-Procurement

ICT procurement processes exist, formally or informally, in every organization that acquires information and communication technologies. Procurement involves all aspects of ICT acquisition such as competitive bidding, purchasing equipment and services, and evaluation of implemented systems (Mukhopadhyay, 2011; Neef, 2001)

Part of the complication of ICT procurement in particular is that the acquisition of ICTs is not just about the purchase and use of hardware and software, it is also inherently tied to the acquisition of a variety of services, support personnel, intellectual properties, and any items that have either a direct or indirect effect on information and communication technologies (Ren et al, 2012). The ICT procurement process is interdisciplinary and in most circumstances, involves everyone in an organization – IT staff, purchasing, legal, and financial employees, not to mention a number of end users from all departments across the organization and its planning and implementation procedures. This multi-dimensional aspect makes ICT procurement especially complex in relation to an organization’s traditional purchasing practices. This complexity, in conjunction with the huge number of available products and services, and the speed with which new products are introduced to the market, makes the area of ICT procurement an extremely intricate and volatile process area.

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