The Green Public Procurement in Bhutan (GPP Bhutan) Project presented to contractors and construction personnel on Friday, 9th September 2016 at the College of Science and Tehcnology, Rinchending, Phuentsholing. Over sixty contractors, representatives or engineers were attending the training organized by the Construction Development Board (CDB) aimed at refreshing and updating the participants’ knowledge on topics relevant to the construction industry.
While the participants appreciated the idea behind GPP, they expressed their concerns when implementing GPP and felt that without proper procedure and monitoring systems, GPP would be implemented only on paper and not practiced on the ground. Hiring graduates from the Vocational Training Institute (VTI) was cited as an example of a noble policy that is not practiced sincerely due to ground realities that make it difficult and impractical for employers to hire and retain VTI graduates. It was also noted that while GPP calls for innovative and new ways of procurement, Bhutanese public procurement can be restrictive and prescriptive, not leaving any room for contractors to suggest alternative, innovative bids to fulfill the need of the procurer.
The GPP Bhutan team noticed that in addition to revising the Standard Bidding Documents to bring GPP in the forefront of tendering, building capacity of contractors on all aspects on construction and procurement is very important before introducing them to sustainability issues. This is especially true for medium, small and petty contractors.
Previously, a more detailed one-day sensitization event was organized by the project to the Thimphu-based contractors that were members of Construction Association of Bhutan (CAB) on August 3, 2016.