Public Procurement Commission on mission to reduce waste

THE Public Procurement Commission (PPC) has renewed its commitment to playing a significant role in helping to reduce waste in the public sector.

The commission, which noted that public procurement accounts for approximately 30 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), says it has an unflinching devotion to waste reduction and/or elimination in the public sector as it is the leading proactive guardian of public procurement activities.

PPC Chairman Raymond McIntyre pointed out that the commission’s initiatives, in consistently and transparently scrutinising public procurement, are critical in inspiring and supporting growth and development of the country.

Established on April 1, 2019, in accordance with the Public Procurement Act, 2015, the PPC is the organisation that examines and gives oversight to Jamaica’s public procurement processes.

The PPC chairman expressesed confidence that the two-year-old body is fulfilling its mandate of vigilantly monitoring public procurement processes.

“With a significant proportion of Jamaica’s budget passing through the public procurement system – even marginal savings can multiply quickly. Therefore, mindful that public procurement remains the one Government activity that is most vulnerable to waste and illegal activities, owing to the magnitude of the financial flows involved, the PPC is the Government agency that not only enables public procurement, but also reduces the prevalence of wasteful activities,” he said.

He said some of the major roles of the commission in nation-building are:

1. validating that the public procurement processes are fair and transparent in the use of taxpayers’ money and

2. enabling improved public procurement which can reduce the presence of wasteful activities.According to McIntyre, another significant function of the PPC in helping to create a better Jamaica is that of “exercising powers as may be necessary in enhancing governance, management, transparency, and the quality of public procurement”.

“The PPC establishes indicators for procurement performance of the procuring entities in the public sector and monitors compliance with these indicators in the contract award process,” explained the PPC chairman. “The PPC also scrutinises compliance with quality standards, transparency, and accountability in the contractor performance evaluation process,” he added.

Suppliers of goods, services, and infrastructural works are required to register with the PPC if they wish to supply goods and services to Government/public sector organisations.

Despite the adverse effects of the novel coronavirus pandemic on businesses, the PPC said it was able to process approximately 800 suppliers seeking to do business with the Government in the last financial year. On Monday, May 3, the commission rolled out the Supplier Registration System (SRS) – a new online registration and licensing platform for the suppliers of goods, services, and infrastructural works who are seeking to be registered or re-registered to serve public sector organisations. The SRS is a web-based application. In the first four weeks of the operation of SRS, 65 applications were submitted from suppliers via that new system.

Meanwhile, all public sector contracts which involve government ministries, departments, and agencies and which exceed $30 million, but do not go beyond $60 million, must be reviewed by the PPC. All public sector contracts exceeding $60 million fall under the scrutiny of Cabinet.

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