Clarke to speak on public procurement policy tomorrow

Monday, May 21, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr Nigel Clarke, is expected to make a statement on the regulations to the Public Procurement (Amendment) Act 2018, when the House of Representatives sits again tomorrow.

The minister is expected to address the “special and differential treatment measures,” which are to be included in the regulations to protect local bidders for procurement contracts with the government, especially operators of medium, small and micro enterprises (MSMES).

OBSERVER ONLINE understands that the government intends to ensure that at least 20 per cent of the contracts under the new Procurement Act will be guaranteed for local MSMEs, while another 20 per cent will protect special and differential treatment of other local businesses.

Clarke, who piloted the amending Bill through the House of Representatives last week, said that the new Bill will ensure that the provisions of the substantive Act are effective in keeping Jamaica within internationally accepted standards and procedures for public procurement and will be in place with the of the substantive Public Procurement Act which although passed previously in the House has still not been implemented.

It is understood that the original Act which is awaiting these developments for implementation seeks to regulate the procurement of goods, works and services by public procuring entities.

Clarke noted that the Government, as the single biggest spender in Jamaica, is committed to using procurement strategically to drive key polices aimed at creating a pillar for sustainable economic growth and increased economies of scale.

He explained that the reform of legislation, policies and systems relating to the business operations of the public sector is intended to provide economic stimulus, by enhancing the potential of local industries, in particular micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) that will be enabled to acquire a more meaningful share of the Government's procurement contracts.

He also noted that the Public Procurement Act is supported by three pieces of Regulations, which are intended to enable its effective operations.

These are the Public Procurement Regulations, 2018; the Public Procurement (Reconsideration and Review) Regulations, 2018; and the Public Procurement (Registration and Classification of Suppliers) Regulations, 2018, which are likely to be tabled today.

The House will also continue with the annual sectoral debate.

Tomorrow's speakers are: Minister of Justice, Delroy Chuck; Attorney General, Marlene Malahoo Forte; and Opposition MPs Anthony Hylton and Julian Robinson.

Balford Henry

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