Panama, April 20, 2001. The Panama Canal Authority’s (ACP) decentralized procurement system was brought online this past November 4. The innovative system safeguards the transparency of ACP public bidding processes via the online publication of purchase orders under $10,000. Internet accessibility also allows for wider participation by potential suppliers.

The system uses ACP procurement system requisitions, automatically making the information available on the official website, It also keeps track of application deadlines and audits, directing all the supplier’s information to the designated purchasing agent.

Thus far, 4,179 quotations have been received, bringing the average to 835 quotations a month. According to ACP Information Systems and Technology Department Director Francisco Loaiza, the extensive use of and interest in the system can be attributed to its user-friendliness, as any interested supplier can freely access the information and make their bid via the ACP website, regardless of physical location. Suppliers will soon have the added convenience of being able to access information online regarding purchase orders of up to $100,000.

This model system has attracted the interest of government and private organizations around the world.