Date set for Public Procurement Bill debate

THE Public Procurement Bill, dubbed as landmark legislation by the government, will be debated after the annual budget debate wraps up.

The legislation, tabled last week, will substantially change how contracts are awarded throughout the entire public service. The new rules will govern how government contracts for goods and services are issued by all public entities.

The bill creates a Public Procurement Department that will fall under the Ministry of Finance and establishes a new structure for the Tenders Board. Following the budget debate, the Ministry of Finance will engage in public education around the new bill. Some of the fundamental changes include criminal penalties for unethical conduct by public officials involved in the tender exercise, a requirement for all bids and tenders to be published through the government’s electronic tender platform, and the implementation of an appeal process for bidders.

“We are proud to advance our government reform agenda with another landmark piece of

legislation that will once again, fundamentally improve the standard of government transparency and accountability. Historically, there has been little public confidence in the procurement process for government goods and services. This new legislation is a massive step forward to bringing more credibility to the procurement process. Unlike other administrations that talked and promised, we are bringing this transformation to life,” said K Peter Turnquest, deputy prime minister and minister of finance.

The bill is available online (www.bahamasbudget.gov.bs), and officials encourage the public to connect with the ministry for ongoing updates on the implementation process.

“The government has advised the heads of the state-owned enterprises, as well as everyone involved in procurement within government agencies to familiarise themselves with the provisions of the bill. In some areas, adjustments and augmentation of skills will need to be made to position the government to meet the requirements of the legislation and ensure the integrity of the procurement process,” said Mr Turnquest.


BONEFISH 2 years, 12 months ago

This proposed bill was drafted over a decade ago.That bill was reviewed by both FNM and PLP cabinets. Neither of those cabinets at the time saw fit to present this legislation to parliament. There have been changes made to the original draft.

The media here in the Bahamas does not practice good journalism.They only print press releases for news.They should ask questions and do real investigative journalism.

Why did this bill take so long to be presented to parliament? Who were the persons who worked on this draft legislation and what laws of other countries was this legislation was modeled after? Are there any set-asides for small businesses? Will the new procurement department be really independent and transparent?

This bill was drafted long before minister Turnquest was in politics.Some times what you see here in the Bahamas is a cynical game being played by politicians.


moncurcool 2 years, 12 months ago

The media here in the Bahamas does not practice good journalism.They only print press releases for news.They should ask questions and do real investigative journalism.

@bonefish, you have hit the nail on the head. Our media needs to tell these people that they will only print these releases if they are allowed to ask them the hard questions.

Still waiting for the term limits bill for the Prime Minister and the fix election date bill.


JokeyJack 2 years, 12 months ago

This sounds like something to do with equality and transparency. I predict it will crash and burn just like the several attempts to give women equal rights in this country. I don't know what would be the analogy in this case to "outside children", but I would bet there are too many skeletons in too many closets that the majority live by and so they will wish to keep the closet doors closed.

Sounds like government is trying to destroy one of the four pillars of our economy: Tourism, Banking, Fisheries, and Corruption. That will cause at least a 25% drop in GDP.


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