Fresh approach to public sector purchasing
A National Procurement Authority will be established later this year once the legislation is passed in Parliament.
This disclosure came today from Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Christopher Sinckler, as he addressed R.L. Mark and Company Limited’s 360 degree Solutions Showcase at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.
Sinckler said a procurement framework would be established which those agencies purchasing on behalf of Government could follow and feedback into the main monitoring unit of the Ministry of Finance. According to him, this would reduce a lot of duplication and late notification of payments, making life easier for all involved.
He stressed that there would be a complete overhaul of the National Procurement System in Barbados.
“One of the areas in which we identified that we can get considerable savings and build efficiencies in Government is the way in which we procure goods and services from the public. Procurement is now being built out as a modern integrated science, so as to ensure that those agencies that have to acquire stuff for Government do so efficiently and effectively to the benefit of the wider population,” he stated.
The minister further revealed that Government was well advanced in seeking to establish the electronic single window, which is a component of the Barbados Competitiveness Programme. He noted that they were looking to procure the necessary software and hardware packages for the upgrade, and added that the ESW would allow Customs the opportunity to graduate from ASYCUDA ++ to the ASYCUDA WORLD system.
He explained that the Electronic Single Window would require the implementation of significant ICT solutions across a number of trade-related government agencies.
“This Electronic Single Window allows for parties involved in international trade and transport, in particular, to file electronically standardised information and documents at a single entry point in order to fulfill import, export and transit-related regulatory requirements. As a result, duplicate entry of information will be eliminated from the process, as currently exists, for traders who have to interface with Customs in conducting their business. For many traders this is quite confusing, very duplicative, redundant and sometimes quite annoying as well, as you have to wade through many forms, systems, data sets, and messages…
“This adds to the enormous costs for all parties concerned and from the Government’s angle in terms of the fiscal resources and timeliness and the accuracy with which we conduct business… Therefore, the establishment of the electronic single window, as a component of the competitiveness programme, is critical to the future competitiveness of the island and its economy in its totality, both from the individual to the business, and of course across the regulatory processes,” Sinckler said.