THE country's public bodies were on Wednesday on the receiving end of kudos from the usually stern Contractor General Greg Christie after his office recorded "an unprecedented 100 per cent Quarterly Contract Award (QCA) submission compliance rate for 13 consecutive quarters".
The contractor general, in a statement, said the "rigidly enforced Zero-Tolerance Policy of the Office of the Contractor general (OCG), which was first introduced in October 2006 to combat public bodies that were refusing to submit their QCA Reports to the OCG, has once again succeeded in producing another record 100 per cent submission compliance rate for the second quarter of 2012".
"All 194 public bodies, whose contract award activities are currently being monitored by the OCG, were declared fully compliant in filing their 2012 second Quarter QCA Reports to the OCG on or before the prescribed deadline date of July 31, 2012," the release said.
According to the contractor general, except for the first quarter of 2012 when only one Public Body — the Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries — was delinquent in submitting its QCA report, this latest performance on the part of the country's procuring public bodies means that the OCG has now recorded an unprecedented 100 per cent QCA submission compliance rate for thirteen consecutive quarters running.
He went on the point out that before the institution of the OCG's Zero Tolerance Policy, the highest public body QCA compliance rate that was ever recorded by the OCG, for any quarter, was 13 per cent.
In congratulating the heads of the country's almost 200 procuring public bodies, the contractor general said the reins could not be slackened.
"Once again, I would like to publicly commend our permanent secretaries and the chief accountable officers of the country's 194 procuring public bodies for co-operating with the OCG in its continuing efforts to lay the foundation for a new culture of discipline and probity in the award of Government contracts in Jamaica. The journey, however, is far from complete. We must now all bring to bear the same level of leadership, professionalism and commitment to integrity and compliance, that has been exhibited, in a concerted effort to eliminate corruption, impropriety and irregularity from the country's procurement, contract award, licensing and State asset divestment processes" he said.
"With the perception of corruption in Jamaica now at an all-time high, it is critical that no stone should be left unturned in the shared quest of the OCG and the country's public body heads to restore probity, integrity and public confidence in the above-referenced Public Sector processes," Christie added.
The OCG's QCA report regime was conceived and implemented in May 2006 by the contractor general as a major plank of his then strategic plan to secure a marked improvement in probity, accountability and transparency in Government contracting and licensing in Jamaica.
Today, the computer technology based regime has, among other things, allowed the OCG, which has limited human resources, to better scrutinise and identify a wide range of irregularities in the public body contract award process, and to make public, on the OCG's website, the award particulars of the over 11,000 small to medium-sized contracts that are awarded by the Government each year since May 1, 2006.
The contracts, which to date number more than 63,000 and which range in value from $250,000 to $10 million, currently have an aggregated value of more than $79 billion.