Categorized | National News

Govt still working to comply with Public Procurement Act

By Delvardo Emmanuel

Journal Staff Writer

Financial Secretary Simon Wilson said there is no definitive date as to when government would comply with the Public Procurement Act’s requirement to disclose contract awards, but officials are working on doing so.

Back in April, Mr. Wilson said the government would fulfil this obligation when the reporting capacity of its procurement system is improved. He added that information was being backfilled on the new bonfire procurement portal.

Asked for an update last week, Mr. Wilson said, “That’s a work in progress.”

“So, we have made great strides. We have most agencies have their contracts reported. There are one or two ones which we think are critical to be included before we publish. So, we are waiting for those agencies to upload their last contracts awards, and once that’s done, we’ll be able to publish,” he added.

As for a new timeline, Mr. Wilson said he’d like it to be done as soon as possible, adding that he’s working with the agencies to make sure that they have all the contracts done.

When asked about the delay in complying with the law, he said the government is committed to compliance.

 “The Act came in the 4th, the 5th of July 1st. This is the 24th. So, I don’t know if it’s too long.”

He added, “Well, maybe just not in that aspect, but just saying that they, the agenda, for example, there are many different aspects, so the attendance boards are all in place, all functioning, at all ministries, the rules are being followed, all right.

“We’re doing more public procurement than ever before. If you go on our portal, you’ll see many opportunities that were never there. So, we’re doing everything that we should be doing, it’s always a work in progress. Yes, we can improve. The publication of contracts is an outstanding item that we’re working on, but we are actively working.”

Mr. Wilson said he believes the public will be pleased when the publication process is completed.

The Public Procurement Act mandates government to disclose the name and address of winning contract bidders and the amount awarded within 60 days of being awarded.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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