As the Task Team Leader, I led the preparation of Implementation Completion and Results (ICR) Report for Ukraine PFM Project. It was a $65 million project, which was extended/ restructured 3 times, leading to a total project time of 7 years between 2008-2014. The major component of establishing Public Financial Management System (PFMS), for which $61.5 million was allocated, could not be delivered, due to a procurement failure. Only $3.94 million could be disbursed and the rest of the loan was cancelled.
I examined the reasons of procurement failure and found that international competitive bidding was done thrice but failed. In the first bidding, while everything was going on smoothly, a complaint was received, which the Bank team sent to INT for investigation. This led to a complete halt and subsequent cancellation of those bidding. I then chose to dig out that complaint from the system.
We discovered that it was an ‘anonymous’ complaint and that there was no corruption alleged in that complaint. It was only suggesting that the technical specifications in the bidding document could help a particular software. That could have been handled by examining the technical specifications and revising them as necessary, and there was no cause for requesting an INT investigation. In the end, INT didn’t find any corruption in their investigation, and the project failed to procure the PFMS. We went up to the root of the problem and diagnosed the cause of failure.
Our assessment of outcomes and Bank and Government performance was, therefore, not very positive. We prepared a draft ICR Report and presented in a Quality Enhancement Review (QER) Meeting. Thereafter, stakeholder consultation was organized in Kyiv and findings of ICR presented and their feedback taken.
The draft ICR was further revised and submitted to management for approval. The final ICR Report was approved by the management. IEG reviewed the ICR and rated the Quality of ICR as “Exemplary”.