Region seven small contractors better prepared for bidding for government funded projects
DPI/GINA, GUYANA, Friday, June 23, 2017
Contractors in Region Seven, Cuyuni Mazaruni, are the latest beneficiaries of the Ministry of Communities procurement and project implementation community workshop which was launched today at the Leanna’s Kiddies Park.
One of the aims of the workshop is to help guide small contractors in the preparation of project procurement documents. The workshop will also aid in the contractors’ submission of tenders, therefore enabling them to better participate in the procurement process.
Procurement Officer, Ministry of Communities, Michael Blackman defined procurement as simple or complex transaction between two persons. Blackman noted that there are persons tasked with public spending and that person must be accountable. Public Procurement is very structured and guidelines must be followed.
Blackman outlined that the Public Procurement system begins with a social need and depending on the need of the community the region through consultation with the citizens identify projects that will benefit the community. When the consultation process is completed a budget is presented to the finance minister and after debates the budgeted funds are approved.
“Once a project is identified an engineer’s estimate is attached and a tender document is prepared by the Regional Democratic Council. The tender document is prepared, then there’s invitation to bid, which is advertised publicly giving all contractors a chance to participate in the process,” Blackman explained.
Blackman stressed that the lowest bidder does not necessarily win the contract, but the bidder who satisfies all the necessary evaluation criteria.
The workshops also aim to reduce the number of unresponsive bids, widen the number of contractors as well as suppliers participating in regional contracts and critically, improve the quality of the work executed.
“The procurement and project implementation community workshop is designed for your empowerment and to provide greater employment at the community level,” the minister told the workshop participants. Special Projects Officer, Ministry of Communities, Naeem Khan highlighted that some of the necessary documents to fulfill the criteria in the procurement system include Guyana Revenue Authority Compliance, National Insurance Scheme and litigation and financial letters. He pointed out that the criteria and tender document are used in all administrative regions.
Khan explained that during the procurement process there are three classifications of projects. Classification one is micro; capable of executing works between the value of $800,000 to $4.99M, classification two is small; capable of executing works between the value of $5M to $9.99M and classification three is medium; capable of executing works between the value of $10M to $14M. Contractors will not be selected for more than two classifications.
Minister of Communities, Ronald Balkan while delivering brief remarks at the workshop told the gathering that too many contractors, particularly small ones are still ignorant of the process to participate in government funded projects and contracts. This workshop, he said is designed to address this and assist in ensuring that there is greater integrity, transparency, less favoritism and corruption.
Minister Bulkan noted that when public funds are involved certain rules and regulations must be observed especially
since its tax payers monies. “It is unfair to taxpayers for their money to be spent to benefit people personally and not for its intended cause. We understand that if you’re spending your own money you have a right to do what you want, but with public funds we must be responsible,” the Minister underlined.
Regional Chairman, Region Seven, Gordon Bradford lauded the event, noting that now there will be less accusations and favoritism which comes about due to lack of understanding of the procurement and implementation process. He said “It (the workshop) is timely and is vital for the region and speaks to delivering a better service to the residents. The knowledge is important and will benefit us all.”
Region Seven is the latest region to benefit for the series of workshops. The Ministry of Communities have already conducted a series of procurement and project implementation community workshops designed to build trust and confidence in the regional procurement process in Regions, Two, Three, Four and Six. Similar workshops are slated for the remaining administrative Regions of One, Eight, Nine and Ten.
By: Ranetta La Fleur