Saturday 15 December, 2018

Finance Minister responds to calls for public procurement legislation

Finance Minister Colm Imbert has responded to calls for Government to immediately implement the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Property Act, saying that other steps must first be completed. 

In a statement issued Wednesday, the Finance Ministry said that the Public Procurement Act cannot be implemented until the Office of Procurement Regulation is fully established. To achieve this, the Procurement Regulator and the Board of the Office of Procurement Regulation must first be appointed.

The Ministry said after the Regulator and Board are appointed, the Office of Procurement Regulation must then prepare Regulations in accordance with the Act and recommend this to the Minister of Finance, who would then table these Regulations for debate and approval by both Houses of Parliament, in order to give full effect to the new public procurement system.

The Ministry emphasised that according to Section 10 of the Act, the Procurement Regulator and the Board are appointed by the President after consultation with the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader.

"There is no point therefore, in persons and groups constantly demanding that the Government implement the Act immediately, since we must all wait until the Procurement Regulator and the Board of the Office of Procurement Regulation are appointed by His Excellency," the Ministry said. 

The Ministry said it will continue to follow up on this matter with the Office of the President.

"We are hopeful that, barring unforeseen circumstances, the requisite appointments will be made by the end of 2017. However, it should be emphasised that the Government cannot exercise any control over this independent appointment process," the Ministry said. 

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