Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Finance and Planning Horace Dalley (left) and IDB Country Representative Therese Turner-Jones.
The government of Jamaica announced on July 31 the launch of the country’s first electronic procurement platform, which will improve the efficiency and quality of public procurement.
The system was funded jointly by the government of Jamaica and an Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) technical assistance program “Implementation of Electronic Government Procurement.” It will provide an electronic system for government procuring and tendering agencies and suppliers, and automating activities performed by these parties, by integrating them on a single portal.
The new system will result in significant savings on annual public expenditures for goods, works and services. It will also contribute to decreased administrative costs through the streamlining of processes, increased competition through greater publicity of contracts and standardization of practices, improved effectiveness of public spending, maximizing and leveraging the potential of limited public resources and finally it will also increase transparency and give citizens the opportunity to access and control information about how public money is spent.
Cecile Maragh, Senior Director of Procurement and Asset Policy Unit, emphasized the importance of having a new system, “The launching of this eTendering platform will ensure a more transparent and efficient process on government procurement in Jamaica. Suppliers will receive notifications about procurement opportunities, and will be able to complete all stages of the tendering process electronically. I am certain that all stakeholders will be thrilled about this innovative approach.”
The newly launched platform will include features such as online access to procurement legislation and regulations for all agencies and stakeholders; online advertising of bids; downloading of bid documents; contract award publication; electronic bid submission; e-mail notification of new bids to suppliers and; and an electronic procurement management information system that facilitates audit, as well as the extraction of data for statistical purposes.
“The new e-tendering platform that Jamaica is launching today is a very important milestone for the country as it will have a significant and immediate impact on the efficiency of its procurement operations. The Bank will continue to support the successful implementation of the system with financing for training, change management and dissemination activities”, said Leslie Harper, IDB Project Team Leader.
The system is currently being rolled out and piloted and it is expected to be fully implemented by the beginning of 2016. As part of the implementation process, some 2000 people will be trained over a 12-month period, including procurement practitioners and suppliers.
The launch was held at an event hosted by the Ministry of Finance and Planning entitled “Electronic Government Procurement: Faster, Easier and more Efficient Way of Doing Business” held July 31, 2015. The launch was an opportunity to boost awareness of GOJ’s first electronic platform, which will strengthen the government’s procurement processes and practices in accordance with Jamaica’s first stand-alone public procurement law.
The IDB supports the modernization of public procurement systems in 18 countries in the region through 9 lending operations, 12 technical assistance programs and a wide array of smaller targeted interventions.
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