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calling open tendering

August 15, 2011

Dear Sir,

I have just finished reading the Government's two-page “pre-election” spread advertising its Small Business Construction Incubator programme in your paper today. On the one hand I applaud their efforts, but in the interest of fairness (read “reality check”) I think some history is in order.

In the early 1990s, the previous Government (the bad ol' UBP) instituted a policy of “Open Tendering” for all Government projects. You may recall that there were routinely “Open Tendering” advertisements in your paper, soliciting contractors to bid on a variety of projects including the painting and maintenance of schools and other Government facilities. Aside from painting there were also routinely advertisements for small construction projects. The purpose of this policy was twofold, 1) It ensured that all small contractors had a shot at Government work; and 2) that Government paid a fair price for the work completed.

Fast forward to the late 90s and those advertisements abruptly disappeared. There was no more “Open Tendering” and in fact in many cases it appears there was no tendering process at all. And so fast forward again to today and we read the Government claiming its aim is “to remove any obstacles that have traditionally prevented the small contractor from bidding on Government work”. Hello? I don't want to put too fine a point on it, but clearly it's the present Government that, for the past 13 years, has been the largest obstacle for these very same small contractors. It was also interesting to note that at least two of the contractors showcased as graduating from the SBCI in today's advertisement were actually successfully bidding on government work all those years ago back in the “open tendering” days!

I'm not going to sign my name Mr Editor but nonetheless what I've stated here is the God's truth.

EX W&E

Paget

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Published August 18, 2011 at 10:00 am (Updated August 18, 2011 at 10:13 am)

calling open tendering

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