JIS News

A Ministry Paper on the revised Government of Jamaica Handbook of Public Sector Procurement Procedures, was tabled in the House of Representatives, by Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Audley Shaw, on December 2.
According to the Ministry Paper, the Handbook is now structured to serve as an operating manual for procurement staff and all persons concerned with procurement.
The document informs that new material has been added to the Handbook, so as to provide more details on some subjects, namely: Procurement planning; Application of Margin of Reference, with a proposed maximum margin of 15 per cent; Conflict of interest; Conditions for use of various methods of procurement, for example limited tender; and Framework agreements.
New subject areas have also been added to the Handbook, including issues such as: fraud and corruption procedures (to complement those in the procurement regulations); procurement of insurance and review by the Procurement Appeals Board (provided for in the Regulations).
The Ministry Paper notes that consultations have been held with a number of stakeholders, including the National Contracts Commission, Sector Committees, the Office of the Contractor General and the National Works Agency, and their comments were taken into account in finalising the revised Handbook.
“The dissemination of the revised Government of Jamaica Handbook of Public Sector Procurement Procedures, will strengthen the procurement system, by improving transparency, consistency and uniformity in the procurement procedures, thereby increasing public confidence in the system,” the Ministry Paper points out.
The document explains that the Procurement Regulations are to be placed under the same legislative regime that governs the operations of the Contractor General. “A team has been selected and mandated by the Prime Minister to facilitate and expedite the process,” the Ministry Paper says.
It adds that consultations will be undertaken between the Office of the Contractor General, the Attorney General’s chambers, the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, the Cabinet Office and Office of the Chief Parliamentary Counsel.
“At the end of the process, a Ministry Paper will be laid in Parliament, seeking approval for the promulgation of the procurement regulations,” the Ministry Paper says.