MCC Compact in Jordan… Augmenting Government Procurements and Building Capacity

When the U.S. Government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan signed a Compact in 2010, they joined hands to reduce poverty through economic growth in Jordan. Recognizing that Jordan is among the world’s driest countries and water scarcity impacts every aspect of life, the $275 million, MCC Jordan Compact is designed to increase the effective supply of water available to the inhabitants of Zarqa Governorate through improvements in the efficiency of water delivery, the extent of wastewater collection, and the capacity of wastewater treatment.

To manage the five-year grant program on the ground, the Jordanian government established in June 2010 the Millennium Challenge Account-Jordan (MCA-Jordan), a limited liability company to oversee the implementation of the  five-year Compact  (2011-2016).

Among the many decisions the Jordanian government needed to make through MCA-Jordan was deciding on the structure of its procurement and purchasing activities. The Jordanian government identified the Government Tenders Directorate (GTD) in the Ministry of Public Works and Housing as the Procurement Agent for the purpose of managing the procurement of goods, works and services for the Compact’s program and MCA-Jordan. Because of its rich experience in managing procurement processes in an effective, transparent and equitable manner, GTD passed the due diligence conducted for evaluating its capacity to service as a procurement agent.

GTD has wide experience in conducting procurements for several international donor agencies such as the World Bank and USAID. The government procurement arm prides itself on retaining a team of competent professionals that boast a well versed skill-set and knowledge in international best practices of procurements  management.

As a department that focuses on procurement, GTD has procurement managers with higher levels of expertise. It continuously offers its employees with training and improvement. The department has years of accumulated knowledge that shaped standardized approaches and efficient processes.

After four years into the Compact’s life, GTD successfully procured over 40 contracts, estimated at a total of $160 million, all conducted in a timely and transparent manner.

The selection of GTD to run the procurements of the Compact has resulted in building institutional capacity. Furthermore,  the  government  procurement  model  has  enabled  MCC  to  implement  with  

confidence procurement that take into consideration government policies, country systems, and operations efficiency for which, unlike private agencies, reduces risk, saves money, and builds institutional capacity that remains within the directorate’s repository for future utilization.

On the other hand, GTD has augmented its expertise by being exposed to MCC procurement guidelines and policies that tout international best practices and state of the art contracting management. The government procurement arm is therefore analyzing plans to integrate new disciplines, lessons learned, and contract management system into its procurement management system to further enhance its operations.

The government’s selection of GTD to carry out the procurement activities of the MCC-funded program in Jordan proved to be the “best fit” approach to procurement dealings and systematic effort in meeting the overall objectives of MCC Compact, country ambitions, and capacity development.