The Public Procurement Commission (PPC) is playing a critical role in nation building by monitoring the way that government/public sector entities spend taxpayers’ money in obtaining goods, services and infrastructural works. Pointing to the salient role in which the Commission is engaged Chairman of the PPC Mr Raymond McIntyre asserts, “The PPC’s first role, therefore, in nation building is to validate that the processes are fair and transparent in the use of taxpayers’ money and we are carrying out that role efficiently.”
Sound Scrutiny of Public Sector Procurement
Established on April 1, 2019, in accordance with the Public Procurement Act, 2015, the PPC is the organisation which examines and gives oversight to Jamaica’s public procurement processes. Public Procurement, also known as “public sector procure-ment” or “government procurement” is the acquisition of goods, services and works using public funds in an economical and effective manner.
The PPC Chairman states that by being the entity that provides keen scrutiny of government contracts in procurement, “the PPC facilitates transparency and the qua-lity of public procurement.” Mr McIntyre underlines that the PPC expedites improved public procurement which helps to reduce waste in the public sector. All public sector contracts which involve Government ministries, departments and agencies and which exceed J$30 million, but do not go above J$60 million, must be assessed by the PPC. All public sector contracts exceeding J$60 million fall under the microscope of Cabinet.
Primary Responsibilities of the PPC
The PPC Chairman outlines the chief responsibilities of the PPC:
- Assessing, registering and certifying persons and entities who/which seek to provide goods, services and infrastructural works to the public sector;
- Registering and classifying contractors who are desirous of tendering on government contracts;
- Examining applications for the award of government contracts;
- Reviewing, approving and/or overseeing the award of government contracts within the specified limits; and
- Making recommendations to Cabinet for improving the efficiency of the procedures for the granting and the implementation of government contracts.
Significant Reduction in Processing Time
In the meantime, Executive Director of the PPC Lt Cdr (Ret’d) Paul Wright discloses, “There is a significant reduction in the processing time of procurement proposals being reviewed by the PPC from Government ministries, departments and agencies.” He says as the PPC increases its efficiency, the review rate of most submissions have been cut dramatically from eight weeks to four weeks.
Steady Increase in Applications Using SRS
The Executive Director adds that the processing time of applications for the registration and re-registration of suppliers and contractors who are desirous of doing business with the public sector, has been slashed by fifty per cent since the PPC began its Suppliers Registration System (SRS) on May 3 this year. This Internet-based system, has made it more convenient for suppliers seeking government procurement contracts to submit their applications. Also, the SRS, makes the application process easier and faster. Previously, the PPC accepted applications via email and hard copy. Since the start of the SRS, 6 weeks ago, the PPC has received 92 applications.
High Volume of Calls to SRS Helpline
Queries to the PPC from the public have grown exponentially in the short space of time since SRS was rolled-out. So far, the SRS Helpline has answered in excess of 1,200 calls. On an average, the SRS Helpline receives 48 calls per day. There are some days that calls to the helpline have jumped to 70.
To find the new SRS, suppliers and contractors can log onto the Government of Jamaica Electronic Procurement (GOJEP) website: www.gojep.com. The PPC has on its website, www.ppc.gov.jm, a set of instructions and instructional videos that show applicants the easy step-by-step process to register on the SRS.
Queries may be directed to the SRS Helpline at: (876) 807-3154