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In a move to further increase transparency in the public sector, the Contractor General’s Department will as of next year be posting contracts valued under $4 Million on its website. At present, contracts valued at $4 Million and over are posted on the department’s website.
This was revealed during a meeting between Prime Minister P.J. Patterson and the newly appointed Contractor General Mr. Greg Christie, who paid a courtesy call on him at Jamaica House on Wednesday (Dec. 21). The proposal to post contracts valued under $4 Million on the website was first mooted in May at a meeting convened by the Prime Minister with Permanent Secretaries and senior government officers to examine ways of strengthening anti-corruption measures.
Between January and October 2005, over 327 contracts have been endorsed by the Contractor General and the details of these are available on the department’s website. Since the strengthening of the office in 2000, the Department has been posting all endorsed contracts above $4 Million on its website as well as submit monthly reports for publication in the media. In addition, the Contractor General’s Department also randomly selects contracts under $4 Million for review, to ensure adherence to the prescribed procurement guidelines.
During the meeting, Mr. Patterson expressed the view that the annual report of the Contractor General should be the subject of Parliamentary review in a similar fashion to that carried out on the annual report submitted by the Auditor General. He pointed to the importance of the Contractor General’s Department and the National Contracts Commission in providing for transparency and accountability in the awarding of government contracts as well as the monitoring mechanism to ensure value for money. (MORE)
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In his remarks, Contractor General Mr. Greg Christie stated his intention to vigorously discharge his duties with fairness and impartiality. He expressed concern at the delay in the submission of the annual reports of the agency noting that under his watch, every effort would be made to have these reports available for tabling in Parliament no later than the end of the first quarter of the succeeding year.
Prime Minister Patterson welcomed his commitment to delivering the annual report in a timely fashion, noting that it would allow for greater balance in the discussion of the reports submitted by the Contractor General’s Department and the Auditor General.
Sixteen initiatives have been introduced over the past decade to fight corruption and increase transparency in the public sector.