Regulation of Procurement Procedures Will Improve Enforcement


The Government’s move to promulgate regulations governing public sector procurement procedures, will set legally binding and uniformed rules for procurement in all public sector entities, so as to enhance the regulatory framework and improve enforcement.
This is according to a Ministry Paper tabled by Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Audley Shaw in the House of Representatives yesterday (Dec. 9). “The regulations will provide policy rules to all personnel of the Government of Jamaica engaged in any aspect of procurement functions,” the document stated.
The Ministry Paper informed that the absence of a legal regime governing procurement has made regulation of the area extremely weak. Over the years, the Auditor General’s report has consistently highlighted breaches of Government’s procurement procedures with little or no sanctions being applied against culpable individuals.
“This has been iterated in reports done by the Contractor General and the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service audit teams. The Public Accounts Committee has also repeatedly called for punitive action to be taken against public officers who flout the procurement rules. However with the exception of administrative discipline at the Permanent Secretary’s discretion, no sanctions are available for such breaches,” the Ministry paper explained.
As a result Government has considered it desirable to have enforceable provisions in the procurement of general services, goods and works so as to promote the objectives of: maximising economy and efficiency in public procurement; fostering and encouraging participation in public procurement proceedings; and to promote competition among suppliers and contractors for the supply of goods, services and works to be procured.
Other objectives include: providing for the fair and equitable treatment of all suppliers and contractors; promoting integrity of, and fairness and public confidence in the public procurement process and to also achieve transparency in the procedures relating to procurement.
A draft (Revised) Handbook of Public Sector Procurement Procedures was tabled in the Lower House on Tuesday, December 2.

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