JIS News

Cabinet has approved the Public Sector Procurement Policy, which will serve as the official policy for all public sector entities.
Speaking on Wednesday November 17 post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House, Minister with responsibility for Information, Telecommunications and Special Projects, Hon. Daryl Vaz said the policy not only sets the framework for the development of the public sector procurement system, but underscores the principles that form the foundation upon which the system is established.
“The policy is to guide public officers and other stakeholders and gives direction for the further development of the procurement system,” he noted.
The broad objectives of the policy are to, among other things: ensure that procurement is properly regulated through laws, rules and procedures to govern the various aspects of procurement operations; ensure that public procurement activities are conducted fairly, allowing for equal treatment of eligible contractors; ensure transparency in the procurement system; and facilitate environmentally responsible procurement practices.
Cabinet also gave approval for the issuing of drafting instructions to the Chief Parliamentary Counsel for the development of new procurement legislation.
In the meantime, Minister Vaz informed that Cabinet approved the revised Government of Jamaica Handbook of Public Sector Procurement Procedures for issue to public entities.
“The handbook was first issued in May 2001 and represented a first attempt to comprehensively document public sector procurement procedures. The first update of the handbook culminated in November 2008 with the edition that is currently in use,” he said.
The Information Minister further informed that a technical committee comprising officers from the Cabinet Office, the Ministries of Finance and the Public Service and Transport and Works, Office of the Contractor General, and National Contracts Commission, was mandated to further review the handbook, which is now structured under four volumes.
They are as follows: Volume one – General Provisions including scope of applications, institutional framework, approval thresholds, complaints and appeals process, and conflict of interest provisions; Volume two – Procedures for the Procurement of Goods, General Services and Works; Volume three – Procedures for the Procurement of Consulting Services; and Volume four – Procedures for the Procurement of Insurance Services.

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