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Pilot project launched to make bidding for government work less burdensome

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Battling bureaucracy: Lieutenant-Colonel David Burch, the Minister of Public Works (File photograph)

Businesses bidding for government contracts will find the process less burdensome under a pilot programme.

Lieutenant-Colonel David Burch, the Minister of Public Works, said that the Vendor Pre-qualification Programme will reduce paperwork and red tape and also accelerate the response times.

At a press conference today, Colonel Burch said: “The Ministry of Public Works continues to encounter issues while attempting to adhere to the intermediate-value and high-value procurement processes as set out in the code of conduct.

“Specifically these issues concern the proper vetting of documents, timely turnaround for reviewing of documents, inconsistent matrix scoring, and compliance to respective sections.”

Colonel Burch said that a lack of staff had resulted in “substandard planning and reaction time which negatively effects the delivery of government objectives and overall service provided to the public by the ministry”.

He added that the programme will identify contractors that are qualified to provide goods and services in 32 areas.

The programme replaces the Economic Stimulus Programme’s administrative framework.

“It is anticipated that an expeditious review process will occur, and as required, financial checks with the Department of Social Insurance, the Office of the Tax Commissioner, the Accountant-General and the Ministry of Public Works will automatically occur every 90 days to ensure approved businesses are properly registered and are current on their accounts,” Colonel Burch said.

“A company that becomes delinquent with one or more of the aforementioned bodies during routine checks will be flagged and notified by the ministry to address the outstanding issues within 30 days.

“If unresolved, the ministry will remove the entity from the pre-qualification framework list. The company will have the ability to reapply once the issue has been resolved.”

Colonel Burch said that evaluation panels will focus on the specific requirements for projects and financial submissions, “thus reducing review times and the chances of individual errors by evaluators”.

“It further allows outside entities to more quickly respond to request for proposals, as well as lessen the likelihood of companies being disqualified for mistakenly omitting mandatory information.”

According to Colonel Burch, the more centralised framework will also make it easier to track the distribution of contract awards, “ensuring the Government’s goal of wealth distribution throughout the community”.

Describing the contract award process as “arduous”, Colonel Burch said that it can take more than three months for a contract to be granted, which discouraged some companies from submitting bids.

Application forms to become pre-qualified will be available on the Government’s procurement notices website. Once a company has been approved, its pre-qualification status will be valid for one year.

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Published January 16, 2023 at 7:51 am (Updated January 16, 2023 at 10:39 am)

Pilot project launched to make bidding for government work less burdensome

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