The Public Procurement Commission hosted a week of activities in November 2020 in observance of its annual Procurement Week, in keeping with this year’s theme: Small Businesses in Public Procurement – The Local Experience.
The activities included a Virtual Symposium hosted via the Zoom platform, a Radio broadcast programme and a Public Open Day.
The objective of the Symposium, which was attended by representatives of procuring entities, private sector representative organisations and other key stakeholders, was to showcase what can be achieved if small businesses are effectively organized to participate fully and formally in the opportunities available within the public procurement system. The key note speaker at the Virtual Symposium was Mr. Ivan- Alonzo Gaviria- Procurement Specialist, InterAmerican Development Bank (IDB).
Mr. Gaviria’s presentation, which was highly immersive and thought-provoking, provided essential insights into areas, for example legislative and financial requirements, that can prove complex and present barriers to unprepared small businesses He also made participants aware of how small businesses can cultivate a plan for success in public procurement. Mr. Gaviria provided updates on technology changes, for example E-procurement, that will soon impact public procurement in Guyana.
Additional presentations were made by Mr. Sean Noel, Chief Executive Officer, Public Procurement Commission, who reiterated the role of small businesses as a very vital component of the economy; Dr. Lowell Porter, Chief Executive Officer, Small Business Bureau (SBB), who discussed the Small Business Procurement Programme (SBPP) which was approved by Cabinet in October 2018; Ms. Tiffany Adams, Senior Procurement Officer, National Procurement Tender Administration, and Ms. Mandie Mickle, Head – Operations, Public Procurement Commission.
All of the speakers discussed the challenges and limitations that small businesses face and the actions their respective organisations are taking to ensure that there are systems in place to support the participation of small businesses in public procurement.
A recording of the Symposium was rebroadcasted on 104.1 Lite FM and can be accessed on the PPC’s website: ppc.org.gy.
The week of activities continued with appearances by Mr. Sean Noel and Dr. Lowell Porter on the NCN radio programme “For a Better World” to discuss the mandates of their respective entities as well as the challenges faced by small businesses as they compete for public procurement opportunities.
The Public Open Day, the final event of the annual Procurement Week, provided an opportunity for small business owners and other interested persons to interact with representatives of the Public Procurement Commission including the Chief Executive Officer, Heads of Departments, Manager of Investigations and Procurement Specialists on matters pertaining to public procurement in general and the implications of public procurement for small businesses specifically.