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New govt ‘found no manuals or regulations in place’ relating to Public Procurement Act

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Minister of Economic Affairs Michael Halkitis.

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Senior Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

MICHAEL Halkitis, Minister of Economic Affairs, said the Davis administration found in place no manuals or regulations relating to the Public Procurement Act when it came to power, suggesting this has affected the government’s ability to comply with the key legislation.

Last month, Free National Movement leader Michael Pintard criticised the new government for not following the reporting requirements of the law, which include publishing details of approved contracts and procurement activities within 60 days of the award of a contract.

“The law was I think passed early in 2021,” Mr Halkitis told reporters yesterday before a Cabinet meeting.

“It was implemented on the 2nd of September 2021, conveniently two weeks before the general election.

“We report as necessary, we’re complying with the legislation and the reports will be made but that procurement legislation… came into effect the 2nd of September, two weeks before the election.

“Here you had a former government that was procuring straight up to that, no training, no manuals, no regulations, all of that you have to implement now, so Mr Pintard should just appreciate that when you do transformative legislation, wide-ranging legislation like that, you have to train the public service to be able to implement it and you have to have in place regulations and manuals.”

Mr Halkitis reiterated that the Davis administration will make amendments to the Procurement Act.

He said: “We’ve had a lot of legislation, I’ll tell you, that was pushed through.

“We have to make sure legislation makes sense.

“You need transparency, you need accountability, you need order in government operations, but it also needs to make sense so that government can operate.

“So, we’re looking at the slew of legislation to make some changes to make sure that we maintain the transparency but government hands are not tied and you’re not crippled in terms of when government needs to procure and do things, especially on an urgent basis.”

The passage of the Public Procurement Act was partly a response to long-term criticisms of the country’s procurement processes.

In its 2020 investment climate statement on The Bahamas, the US State Department said this country lacks modern procurement legislation and that companies have complained its tender process for public contracts is inconsistent.

“US firms have identified corruption as an obstacle to FDI (foreign direct investment) and have reported perceived corruption in government procurement and in the FDI approvals process,” the report said.

Comments

newcitizen 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Please, tell me again why you can't do your job?! Get to work, enough of this sh*t blaming others for not doing your job now.

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thephoenix562 5 months, 3 weeks ago

No manuals. Really ? They right there with the Oban files.SMDT

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licks2 5 months, 3 weeks ago

THIS DUDE NEEDS TO GO MR. D!! His new name is "hole in boat" Minister!! He dumb bad bad!!

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