IDB authorises partial use of nat’l procurement system
KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has authorised partial use of the national public-procurement system for the acquisition of goods and services for IDB-funded projects.
State agencies can now use the procurement guidelines, rather than the IDB’s, once these are outlined in loan and grant agreements for current or impending projects.
This undertaking was formalised in an agreement signed by Finance and the Public Service Minister, Hon, Audley Shaw, and IDB Country Department Caribbean Group General Manager, Therese Turner-Jones, at the Ministry’s National Heroes Circle offices in Kingston on Wednesday.
Shaw said the decision by the IDB resulted from its review of the procurement system at the Government’s request.
He said the review showed that Jamaica’s procurement procedures were on par with IDB policies and international best practices.
“In fact, it was noted that in some instances, the Government’s procedures surpassed the IDB’s policy, which is an indication that the partial use of the Jamaican procurement system in IDB-financed projects will not create any challenges in project implementation, with the procedures currently in place,” he noted.
Shaw said the public procurement regulatory and institutional frameworks are being strengthened as part of the Administration’s modernisation programme.
This, he explained, is in order to create a more efficient and effective system and policy that aligns with international best practices.
The minister said the IDB has provided support to borrowing member countries, such as Jamaica, to improve their procurement systems and enable them to meet those international standards.
“Ultimately, when (these) standards (are) achieved, borrowing countries can use their own systems to carry out procurement processes for IDB-financed projects,” he added.
Shaw said the agreement identifies and establishes the Government’s responsibility in relation to partial use of Jamaica’s system. “The agreement is also... a clear indication of (the IDB’s) confidence in the strides that Jamaica continues to make in procurement reform,” he contended.
Additionally, the minister said it was also an indication of the maturity taking place in the Government in relation to the development of a system that is becoming internationally recognised “as having the standards that can now be accepted by a major agency like the IDB”.
“The Government welcomes this marked achievement and anticipates that the gains to be realised through the implementation of this agreement will be used as a catalyst (to) positively impact the success of future projects in Jamaica as we strive to achieve sustainable economic growth and prosperity,” Shaw added.
For her part, Turner-Jones described the agreement as a “significant step”, indicative of major strides by the Administration in modernising the public-procurement process.
She said the agreement is the first such signed with a Caribbean country and is a “strong signal” of the IDB’s acknowledgement of the systemic growth in Jamaica’s governance systems, which has placed it on par with other countries in Latin America.
Turner-Jones said the signing may also be regarded as the first step towards the IDB’s full endorsement of Jamaica’s public-procurement system and policies under the national competitive-bidding methodology.
“The IDB is really pleased by (the) bold steps that have been and will be taken to continue to streamline, improve and modernise public procurement in Jamaica,” she added.