New Year’s Message by PPS Administrator Jong Wook Lee
January 3, 2023
Fellow public procurement officials! I hope that 2023, the year of the black rabbit, will be a rewarding year for all of you.I wish you and your family members all the success and good health. Last year was particularly arduous. Korea’s economy was sternly faced with high inflation, high interest rates and strong dollars caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, supply chain disruptions, tight monetary policies, etc. Accordingly, the Public Procurement Service(PPS) strived to respond to the global polycrisis and build a dynamic economy led by the private sector. Despite harsh environments, your dedication led to remarkable achievements. In the face of surge in commodity prices, the central procurer diversified special cases for adjusting contract amounts to price fluctuations and thereby supported suppliers to overcome imminent challenges with about 1.900 contract amounts swiftly re-tuned.Besides, PPS built a bold regulation innovation system, identified 138 tasks for regulation innovation and took improvement measures whose effects would be felt by workers on the ground. The central procurement agency also announced measures to innovate public procurement which were designed to transform paradigm in procurement administration. Hence, it raised awareness of strategic public procurement where government purchasing power worth USD 150 billion would be made good use of and laid the foundation for future-oriented procurement systems, In addition, PPS increased designation and purchase of the Innovative Product and sales records through Venture Nara, a mall to facilitate ventures and startups with inventive technologies to join government procurement. It also set up Eum Marketplace, an online service transaction platform and a shopping mall specializing in digital services to revitalize government procurement in new growth areas. With paradigm shift in supply-chain management, PPS started to stockpile items for economic security by newly setting stockpile goals. And 25 public organizations confirmed plans to integrate their own e-procurement systems into KONEPS. I would like to thank every one of you for all the dedication resulting in the achievements. In 2023 again, regrettably, both internal and external economic circumstances are not likely to be favorable. With economies of major countries contracting, Korea’s economic growth rate is forecast to be around 1% and commodity prices will likely remain uncertain. Against this backdrop, PPS will implement the following policies to turn these challenges into economic opportunities and consolidate the status of PPS as a specialized procurement agency. First, PPS will further support the nation’s policies through strategic public procurement by fully harnessing government purchasing power. It will provide front-line support for surpassing the challenges by making timely response to economic volatility and managing risks, thereby reducing burden on suppliers. Plus, the central procurer will help SMEs and budding businesses with new technologies and growth potential increase their industrial competitiveness through empowering policies. To actively tackle the crisis in global supply chains, it will redesign stockpiling systems for raw materials Public Procurement of Innovation, already into 5 years from its inception, will make a tangible leap so that the people can benefit from the fruits. Moreover, in a bid to support the policies, the central procurer will rearrange the roles of user organizations and the market. The procurer will lay the foundation for concentrating on high added-value and innovative tasks by sharing other procurement work with public purchasers and the market according to relevance. And it will provide more autonomy to the market. Second, it will revitalize the procurement market centering around the private-led market. To scale up last year’s achievements of regulative innovation into a greater fruit in 2023, PPS will ensure no voices from the field unheard. Procurement systems such as *MAS(Multiple Award Schedule) and Excellent Government Product which can bring about fundamental changes to government procurement in general will be more market-friendly in line with the aim set in the first place, rather than stuck in unnecessary regulations.*MAS(Multiple Award Schedule): contracts for similar or comparable supplies, or services, established with more than one supplier at varying prices Third, PPS will reinforce its roles as a fair umpire, thereby setting a market order where irregularities are not tolerated. The procurement agency will establish a system to prevent and rapidly detect unfair procurement practices and sternly take care of identified illegal practices. It will also build an environment where fair competition and consequent results are taken for granted by enhancing transparency and fairness of procurement evaluation.Besides, PPS itself will set up a system with which any unfair practices cannot be made in administrative procedures. Fourth, PPS will preemptively respond to changes in procurement environment and strengthen fundamentals of government procurement In the face of digital transformation in almost all socio-economic aspects, PPS will speed up digitalization of procurement administration and devote itself to the launch of the *Next-Generation KONEPS. The procurer will also prepare for structural transformation needed for enhancing growth potential of the nation’s economy in the forms of nurturing new growth industries, pursuing carbon neutrality and responding to climate change. *Next-Generation KONEPS: A digitalized and CX-based e-procurement system equipped with AI, big data, cloud computing, which is to be launched in 2024 Additionally, it will systematically reinforce public procurement capabilities through introduction of the public procurement qualification system and designation of specialized research institutions on public procurement. Fellow public procurement officials!In 2022, we made a turning point for grand transformation of public procurement and laid the foundation for change through measures for innovation in public procurement. Now is the time for us to do our utmost to generate tangible outcomes through viable details and swift implementation. So we need to closely communicate with the market and relevant authorities and conduct the policies in a rapid and balanced manner so that PPS will stand firm as a central government procurement agency which is competent and trusted by the people. I would ask you all to gather wisdoms and energy for more proactive roles. 2023 is the year of the black rabbit Last year, we struggled with the COVID-19 pandemic and global economic crises. As a crouched rabbit can jump higher and farther, I hope that all procurement officials here and PPS will make an audacious stride this year. And I wish you and your family members peace and good luck in 2023.Hopefully, this year will be remembered in your memory as a pleasant and rewarding year for a long time. Thank you.