Minister in the Ministry of Finance Ryan Straughn is promising greater order and transparency to how the Government deals with unsolicited bids.
He disclosed that since the Mia Mottley administration came to office almost two and a half years ago, there have been several uninvited proposals from individuals to do a range of projects. This especially intensified during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, he said.
Straughn said under current procurement rules, the Government was allowed to acquire goods and services in an emergency situation without a tendering process, noting that this was the process used by the Ministry of Health in obtaining ventilators and other necessary equipment.
He told reporters recently that the Government was in the process of reviewing its procurement procedures and a new Procurement Bill should be going before Parliament soon.
“How the Government manages unsolicited bids is something we are settling right now to come into the new Procurement Bill,” said Straughn.
Pointing out that “everybody may have a good idea and put something to the Government”, the economist said currently there was “actually no clearly defined process that is open and transparent for everybody to know this is the process for making unsolicited bids and how the Government will treat to it”.
“The reality is that in the new Procurement Bill as contemplated, we will address that for the interest of transparency and ensuring that everybody is aware as to what the Government’s plans would be at any given time. It is important to have that clearly articulated so that nobody can say that ‘so and so got a contract to do so and so and nobody didn’t know’,” said Straughn.
“So, we just want to have a settled process with respect to unsolicited bids, which would take away a lot of the negative connotation with respect to procurement,” he added.