- Published: 22 July 2016
MPI Procurement Symposium kicks off
The Ministry of Public Infrastructure's Procurement Symposium for new entrant contractors kicked off this morning (Friday July 22, 2016) at the Arthur Chung Conference Center, Liliendaal.
Remarks were delivered by Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson; Minister within the Ministry, Annette Ferguson; and Minister within the Ministry of Finance, Jaipaul Sharma.
During her opening remarks, Minister Ferguson indicated that the symposium was the first to be held under the new administration and said that its purpose was to educate new and old contractors on the process when procuring for goods, services, and consultancy work. She further stressed that procurement played a critical role in Guyana's development and said too that corrupt procurement practices could lead to the loss of billions of dollars due to factors such as overpayment of contracts; overinflated estimates; and unnecessary sole sourcing.
For the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, she added, procurement was critical for the ministry's response to Guyana's infrastructural needs. She expressed hope that, following the symposium, the procurement process would be fair; transparent; and corruption free.
Meanwhile, Minister David Patterson, in his feature address, emphasised that the main aim was to build capacity. He indicated that while the Ministry was inundated with persons interested in working with it, many of these persons were unaware of the correct process for procurement.
“We found that, because of that, there was a need for this seminar. It is my job to ensure that there is change,” he stressed.
He added that the procurement process faces a number of hurdles, including distrust of the system and ignorance on the part of contractors. Therefore, he said, the symposium was geared towards empowering contractors in every facet.
He emphasised too that the Ministry of Public Infrastructure is committed to transparency and would therefore work stridently towards improving the procurement process.
“We are starting the process today and it is a continuing process,” he said. He added that there will be a focus on improving interactions between contractors and ministry officials.
For the morning session, participants were privy to information on the Procurement Act; the prequalification process; and compliance with the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA); the National Insurance Scheme (NIS); and insurance companies.
The afternoon session includes a simulation bid submission; information on the bid evaluation process; and the contract award/protest process.
Minister Sharma had expressed pleasure at the turnout.