The Green Public Procurement Bhutan (GPP Bhutan) Project visited the Ugyen Wangchuk Institute for Conservation and Environment (UWICE) on Wednesday, 24 August 2016. GPP Bhutan team presented about GPP to 20 faculty members, researchers and administrative staff including procurement officer of the institute.
Several interesting questions were discussed such as:
- How far can GPP be incorporated in the prevailing public procurement system of the government?
- What is the level of understanding about GPPD among the Royal Audit Authority staff? Since audit observation is always a worry, generally all the procurement is awarded to the lowest bidder, let along considering environment and social aspects.
- Will new set of GPP criteria be introduced in the procurement rules/manual or standard bidding document?
- How good are the GPP criteria/selection points to prevent favoritism, nepotism, corruption in tender evaluations?
- How much “greening” can be possible in consultancy services?
- How has the government received the GPP concept?
The participants agreed that GPP is not a new concept to Bhutan. With sustainable development philosophy of Gross National Happiness (GNH), Bhutan is well equipped with policy and legislative provisions to implement GPP. For the UWICE, with the sustainability knowledge embedded in their curriculum, GPP concept was much easier to understand and relate to day to day procurement challenges.
The UWICE is a government research and training institute based at Lamigonpa, Bumthang. The Institute strives to foster better stewardship of Bhutan’s natural heritage – land, water, air and species therein – through rigorous science based research and transmission of cutting-edge science results to field practitioners, environmental leaders and policy makers.