The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat continues its drive toward establishing an integrated CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) Public Procurement Regime.
On Tuesday June 20th, the Ministry of Finance in collaboration with the CARICOM secretariat held a training workshop, geared at delivering information to the public and private sectors on the functional electronic community public procurement notice board, from a regional construct.
Public procurement refers to the process by which public authorities, such as government departments or local authorities, purchase work, goods or services from companies. The electronic public procurement notice board will be used for the creation, management and online publication of all procurement notices within CARICOM.
CARICOM Consultant Veronica Benedettelli will facilitate the workshop.
“I will be here the whole week working with both the public and private sector together with my CARICOM colleagues… presenting you with the community public procurement reform which will be approved before the end of the year. We will be talking about the legal framework; practical aspects; the standard forms and the public procurement notice board which is a website where all the public procurement opportunities will be published and be visible for the bidders of the whole community,” she explained.
Director of Trade, Matthan Walter said that the workshop is proof of Dominica’s willingness to build capacity and allow access to beneficial entrance market opportunities together with member states.
“Over the past few years, the Ministry of Trade, Energy and Employment has been working collaboratively with the Ministry of Finance and attending technical working group meetings geared towards bringing life to Article 239 of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas and in so doing undertake to elaborate a protocol related to government procurement. Today is a clear indication that we have continued as a region to honour obligations reflected in our trade arrangements. Today, we begin to build the capacity necessary to allow us to benefit from embracing market access opportunities and engage in procurement activities in our sister member states of CARICOM.
The Director of Trade stated that after years of work, including Dominica’s concerns being reflected in the final document, the 43rd meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) in November 2016 approved the draft public procurement protocol for adoption.
He assured local and regional contractors that all matters of concern have been brought to the attention of the CARICOM secretariat in the negotiation process and are currently reflected in the procurement document.
“As we engage regional integration and togetherness our mindsets require change. We need to look at glasses as half-filled instead of half empty so where procurement activities are concerned we need to see before us a huge market with endless opportunities. We then need to identify areas where we have advantages, improve on them and then fearlessly participate in the procurement process. I strongly recommend this as the way forward. We have to move with the tides; we have to move with the times; forward thinking and resoluteness in action should be our mantra.”