JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Prospective contractors are being encouraged to ensure they can fulfill the necessary requirements before submitting bids in response to Government requests.
  • This is necessary in ensuring that public procurement is carried out with the highest level of efficiency.
  • Prospective bidders have been urged to acquire the tender documents and read them carefully.

Prospective contractors are being encouraged to ensure they can fulfill the necessary requirements before submitting bids in response to Government requests for project proposals.

Senior Director, Procurement and Asset Policy Unit, Ministry of Finance and Planning, Cecile Maragh, said this is necessary in ensuring that public procurement is carried out with the highest level of efficiency, transparency and fairness.

“When you see a procurement opportunity coming out, make sure that you are fit for that undertaking. Look at the requirements of the procuring entity…if you do not have the requisite staffing, the resources to deliver, we ask that you either get yourself ready to undertake the assignment, or maybe that bid was really just not for you,” she said.

Mrs. Maragh was addressing the closing session of the two-day Government of Jamaica National Public Procurement Conference, held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston on Thursday, March 20.

She said it is imperative that respondents understand the government’s procurement procedures in order to ensure they are “bid ready”, suggesting that a strategic approach be taken in the bidding process.

The Senior Director further urged prospective bidders to acquire the tender documents and read them carefully, address each element of the tender specification, and structure their response accordingly.

“Be specific in your response. Respond to what we ask for. Understand the procuring entity’s requirements, (and) respond to the questions with relevant evidence,” she said.

Additionally, before considering submitting a proposal, Mrs. Maragh suggested that bidders consider factors such as, who their competitors are, and their likelihood of success.

“We ask you, do not bid for bidding sake and we ask that if you are going to submit a proposal, put the effort in that we, the practitioners will also put into doing the evaluation,” she said.

Mrs. Maragh also advised bidders to ensure they have the supporting documentation in place for compliance, such as a tax compliance certificate. Professionals, such as quantity surveyors, should have their professional certificates in place.

“Be mindful that there are certain securities that we ask you to have if you are tendering on certain goods and services to the Government of Jamaica. We ask that you have your civil engineering licence, your insurances, (and) your security, if you are bidding on a security contract,” she said.

She further encouraged respondents to realistically price their proposal and to ensure that they examine the evaluation criteria, and how the scores will be allotted. She also noted that they should ensure that documents are proof read and have figures/costing checked.

The Senior Director also reminded bidders that they must be registered and should apply within the grade and category of the goods, services, and works that they intend to provide to the Government.

She further advised respondents to avoid submitting bids at the last minute, and to ensure that they have the time and resources to prepare the bids by the deadline.

“If we accept one bid after the deadline time, then we are opening up a can of worms. People will now say ‘it is five minutes after the deadline but you took one four minutes past, what is another minute?’ and therefore we do not want to go down that road,” she said.

Turning to another issue, Mrs. Maragh warned bidders not to “cut and paste” from previous bids.

For example, she said, “If you tendered on security services for the Urban Development Corporation (for example), and the Ministry of Finance has put out a tender for security services…you are giving us the very same proposal. Sometimes the specifications were not adjusted, your pricing was not adjusted … we are asking that you do some due diligence on those issues,” she said.

The two-day conference, being staged for the first time, is organised by the Procurement and Asset Policy Unit within the Finance Ministry with the support of the Inter-American Development Bank.

Held under the theme: ‘Public Procurement: A Mechanism for Economic Growth’, the event seeks to provide practitioners of all Government procuring entities with an update on policies, and pending legislative and institutional reforms. It also offers procurement practitioners the opportunity to network in order to improve efficiency in their daily functions.