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  • The Government will begin testing its electronic procurement system next month in order to iron out any kinks ahead of full implementation next year.
  • Funded jointly by the Government and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the project is intended to strengthen the efficiency and quality of Jamaica’s public procurement process.
  • Project Manager for the Electronic Government Procurement Project in the Ministry of Finance and Planning, John Thompson, informed that three agencies have been selected for the pilot, which will run for six months

The Government will begin testing its electronic procurement system next month in order to iron out any kinks ahead of full implementation next year.

Funded jointly by the Government and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the project is intended to strengthen the efficiency and quality of Jamaica’s public procurement process.

This, through development of an electronic system for government procuring and tendering agencies and suppliers, and automating activities performed by these parties, by integrating them on a single portal.

Project Manager for the Electronic Government Procurement Project in the Ministry of Finance and Planning, John Thompson, informed that three agencies have been selected for the pilot, which will run for six months.

“By the end of December we would have ironed out all the kinks and we will be ready for full deployment commencing in 2016,” he said, during his address at a public procurement meeting today (June 5), at the Jamaica Pegasus in New Kingston.

Mr. Thompson noted that the web-based system is highly secure and encrypted. He said that one of the major benefits anticipated from the system is the automation of the annual procurement process.

“The system will be able to do the requisite consolidation as well as give us the capability to do the demand planning that we really want,” he pointed out.

Mr. Thompson informed that while the implementation has started ahead of the finalisation of the regulations and the public procurement procedures “we have managed to work with the vendor to ensure synchronisation with what is going to be prescribed in the new Public Procurement Act”.

“We expect the law to be in place by July 1 because that is what will, in fact, sanction the new electronic procurement system,” he noted.

As part of the implementation process, some 2000 persons will be trained over a 12-month period, including procurement practitioners and suppliers. “This system impacts on every Ministry, Department and Agencies (MDAs),” Mr. Thompson said.

Among the features of the system are: online access to procurement legislation and regulations for all agencies and stakeholders; online advertising of bids; downloading of bid documents; contract award publication; electronic bid submission; e-mail notification of new bids to suppliers and; and an electronic procurement management information system that facilitates audit, as well as the extraction of data for statistical purposes.