In an effort to improve the national procurement system through several initiatives, the Government will be hastening moves to establish a register of contractors.
This register is to support government’s intention to implement the process of debarment or blacklisting of contractors, where the past performance of bidders will be evaluated as part of the selection process.
According to Finance Minister, Winston Jordan, there will also be a register of all procurement evaluators to ensure that turnaround times and procedures are monitored and enforced.
The Minister said that Government will also be updating the nation’s procurement legislation, and will begin the groundwork leading to the eventual implementation of an eProcurement platform. This platform will allow for a more efficient and effective procurement system that has a greater capacity.
The Finance Minister during his budget 2018 speech on Monday said, “In support of improved capacity of the Central Government, I am pleased to announce that we will be piloting a procurement planning training programme in 2018. It is anticipated that key sectors, such as health, education, public infrastructure, public security and agriculture, will be targeted for this capacity building exercise.”
In this regard, Jordan said that officers will be trained on the development of procurement plans and will benefit from clinical sessions, where a specialist will facilitate the development of actual procurement plans.
The economist said that these procurement plans are intended to serve as a benchmark against which performance will be measured and, also, as an early warning mechanism to signal the need for remedial interventions.
The Finance Minister said that Guyana’s national performance on the Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP) is still far below expectations and economic needs. At the half year, significant concern was expressed about the lack of progress of the PSIP, and the Mid-Year Report for 2017 echoed those same sentiments.
Jordan said, “Since then, we have worked to accelerate implementation. We have approached the preparation of Budget 2018 with a significantly sterner disposition, since continuing with the status quo was untenable and unthinkable.”
He continued, “During the preparation process, Budget Agencies were mandated to ensure that procurement plans were prepared in support of their 2018 work programmes; bills of quantities and terms of references were prepared in 2017 for 2018; and procurement processes commenced prior to the new year.”
The Finance Minister said that in short, Budget Agencies should be in a state of readiness to implement the PSIP, come January 1, 2018. He said that the make-up of the PSIP, in Budget 2018, is one that should allow for a more structured and timely execution within the parameters of scope, time and cost.
The Minister also stated that the Government has conducted a Public Investment Management Assessment (PIMA) and, based on the findings, will be taking further actions to improve the quality of expenditure outlays.