Govt gets IDBfinancing for public procurement system
Government has been awarded financing in the amount of$239,196 from the Inter-American Development Bank(IDB)to strengthen its public procurement system, which helps small enterprises tap into millions of dollars in government contracts every year.
The grant was finalized on March 2,Guardian Businesscan confirm, with this country kicking off the IDB’s regional program entitled’Strengthening Public Procurement Systems Through ICT and the Participation of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises’.
State Minister for Finance Zhivargo Laing said streamlining the process in regards to the awarding of contracts will go a long way in improving transparency.
“The intention of improving your procurement process is to increase fairness and accessibility to all,”he told Guardian Business yesterday.”It gives every vendor better equity access to goods and services contracts from the government.
“One of the things micro, small and medium enterprises(MSMEs)complain about is the extent of their access to bidding processes for available contracts to the government.”
Laing said general complaints ran along the lines of some companies not being informed about the contracts, and the perception that the rules related to the contracts were not standard for all. Contractors have been calling for an improved public procurement system for some time as a way to ensure everyone can get a fair chance at the pie.
The total estimate for the improvement project is$331,396. Government will have to inject$92,200 of its own money into the project. Country Representative for the IDB Astrid Wynter said the changes willimprove value of money in government procurement and will eliminate companies having to register multiple times with the government, among other issues.
The project has three main components. The first component, said Wynter, was the creation of an electronic registry, also called a vendor registry, which willmodernize the system that is in place now.
“What it would actually do is put in place mechanisms so MSMEs will have access to opportunities,”she said.”It’s a requirement that they(government) bring the system up to international standards.”
The second component is streamlining and automating the government’s tender board functions.
“The system is going to be designed for efficient communication between the government tender board and the public, so that everyone will know what opportunities are there when they come up,”Wynter explained.”Then there will be the system that will store data.”
The third component is for information dissemination and access.
“So a website will be designed and created… where autocorrection will automatically be done,”she added.”It will create statistics so everyone can see the bids[and]give a lot more accountability to the system. It will also help with conducting user satisfaction surveys.”