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Government to cut red tape to help businesses bid for contracts

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

Red tape and “excessive bureaucracy” surrounding bids for government contracts have led to a decrease in Bermudian companies applying, MPs heard on Friday.

Lieutenant-Colonel David Burch, the Minister of Public Works, said the current code of practice, introduced by the Progressive Labour Party in 2018, means it can take up to 13 weeks for a decision to be made, discouraging some businesses from bidding.

He told the House of Assembly: “This wide ranging variation in response time is deemed unsatisfactory by the ministry and those local companies, especially small to medium sized businesses, who tend to operate on a monthly basis.”

Colonel Burch said the ministry was launching a pilot programme, the Vendor Prequalification Programme, to solve the problem.

“This prequalification programme is designed to reduce the paperwork and red tape and accelerate the response time for small to medium sized business owners looking to bid on government contracts.”

He explained that it would allow companies to apply by filling in the required paperwork “only once”.

Upon review by technical officers, the company will then be deemed “pre-qualified with the ministry” and can bid on public works contracts for the entire fiscal year.

More than 30 services may need contracts in the coming fiscal year, and Colonel Burch said the programme should cut the wait time to 21 days.

He added that representatives from 21 different companies had attended information sessions on the programme in recent weeks.

The new application process launches tomorrow.

• To read the minister’s statement in full, click on the PDF under “Related Media”.

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Published February 07, 2023 at 7:45 am (Updated February 07, 2023 at 7:45 am)

Government to cut red tape to help businesses bid for contracts

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