The UAE Ministry of Finance today launched the newly updated catalogue for the Digital Procurement Platform, which has expanded to include 35 categories containing more than 120,000 products and services provided by 230 suppliers.

The event, gathering the attendance of representatives from more than 30 federal entities, featured an introduction to the advantages of purchasing through the catalogue compared to traditional processes, contributing to a 75% reduction in procurement steps and reducing the time required for the purchase process from an average of 60 days to six minutes. The central procurement unit at the Ministry of Finance has negotiated with suppliers to obtain the best prices for products and services.

His Excellency Mohamed Hadi Al Hussaini, Minister of State for Financial Affairs, said: “We aspire to be global leaders in the financial field, and to contribute to achieving the UAE’s vision. Our event today marks a new milestone on the path of innovation, collaboration, and the exchange of ideas. Together with our partners from federal government entities, we are charting a course towards a future where efficiency, transparency, and innovation define government procurement. The Digital Procurement Platform is part of the strategic directions expressed by the five major transformational projects of the Ministry of Finance, including the first project, the Supply Strategy of the Federal Government, which aims to incorporate new categories of suppliers for the federal government to support national economic growth and enhance government efforts aimed at expanding and diversifying the supplier base in the federal government. This, in turn, contributes to improving the quality of services and products for federal procurement at competitive prices.”

He added: “The Ministry’s proactive work to identify all government requirements confirms that the platform’s function is not limited to connecting government entities with suppliers, but also ensures achieving the objectives of this transformational project. It also increases the readiness of government financial work, in line with the new government work methodology adopted by the UAE to lead the government development process, meets the country’s future requirements, and continues its development journey for the next decade and towards the next 50 years, in line with the digital transformation strategy, enhancing joint work, and forming effective partnerships with the private sector to improve the level of government services, especially in the fields of procurement and government supply.”

A Strategic Project

The Digital Procurement Platform is a strategic and vital project in digital transformation, especially in managing purchasing operations at the federal level. It has brought about a positive change in terms of efficiency, transparency, monitoring expenses, and expenditures. The acceleration of purchasing processes and the simplification of procedures have facilitated access to purchasing and supplier information in the system automatically and electronically. This transformation reflects our commitment to sustainable digital transformation and the spirit of innovation in enhancing the efficiency of spending in government work.

The platform has provided an easy and flexible user experience by designing a simple user interface to facilitate navigation, minimising complexity and increasing productivity, which has helped to speed up the procurement process more effectively. It has succeeded in enhancing automation and electronic catalogues to shorten the required time for the purchasing process. A system that allows a clear view of transactions and expenditure analysis for better financial decisions, including support and preservation of resources for future generations, has also been provided. The platform has played a significant role in connecting federal entities with suppliers and the value chain through an integrated network to facilitate communication and enhance transparency in purchasing.

Features

Participants in the launch event were introduced to the newly updated catalogue that reduces the number of steps for procurement processes from 11 to three. In addition, new features in the Digital Procurement Platform were presented, including electronic contract drafting, contract signing using digital identity, the reporting dashboard, and the budget verification feature. The platform also provides a reverse auction feature when launching a digital tender and tracks the progress of purchase requests and orders. The catalogue also displays a section for SMEs, to facilitate access to their products and services.

The new catalogue categories, which include advertising and media services, real estate insurance, travel services, consulting services, installations and interior design, property management, information technology services, legal services, photography and video, studies and research, training, translation, and other services, were also showcased.

Discussions

In addition, a panel discussion about emerging technology in digital procurement took place during the launch event. The theme of the discussion revolved around how can emerging tech like artificial intelligence drive efficiency and increase transparency and accountability in government procurement. It also reviewed the latest trends and best practices in digital procurement, as well as how can the Digital Procurement Platform leverage them to bring greater added value.

The panellists included Dr Marcell Vollmer, CEO of MV Procu GmbH, Jasmin Frick, Director of Seller Success at Amazon MENA, Hamed Kazim, Senior Partner at PwC and Senior Advisor in the Dubai government. The discussion was moderated by Mohammed Saeed AlEter, an executive in artificial intelligence, digital economy, and remote work applications.

Choices

Since 2007, the Ministry of Finance has played a pivotal role in all federal procurement. With the introduction of the Digital Procurement Platform in 2021, the procurement experience for federal entities and suppliers transformed significantly.



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