The coalition government announced on Wednesday that it was looking at ways to ensure that more small contractors and companies are incorporated into the public procurement process.
In fact, the government wants to enforce the law that allows for small contractors to secure 20 percent of government work.
With billions of dollars granted each year in state contracts, contractors continue to raise concerns over the public procurement process, particularly the ineligibility of small contractors to bid for and secure state contracts.
Minister of State Joseph Harmon said these concerns were raised at a recent seminar hosted by the Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson for new contractors.
Resulting from Minister Patterson’s report, Cabinet mandated a committee headed by the Prime Minister and including Ministers of Legal Affairs, Public Infrastructure, Business, Finance and Communities, to look at how best small contractors can be incorporated into the public procurement process.
“It was agreed that every effort will be made to give legitimate support to small contractors for their involvement in the Public Procurement process,” Minister Harmon stated.
According to Harmon, there is a part of the Laws of Guyana which states that 20 percent of all contracts must be awarded to small contractors every year.
He said the government will be looking to enforce this.
Meanwhile, Harmon said the Administration does not intentionally omit anyone in the selection of contractors for state projects as the Procurement Act describes the manner in which contracts are awarded.
“When it [a contract] comes to Cabinet, it’s for Cabinet to say whether we object or we don’t object. Cabinet would not exercise that power to say who should get a contract or who should not get. We either say we object or we do not object.”
The Minister was at the time responding questions relative to the debarring of contractors who perform poor or shoddy work when awarded state contracts.
According to the Minister, “our public procurement act circumscribes the manner in which government proceeds in the awards of these contracts.
We do not deliberately exclude anybody but at the level of the evaluation, the evaluators will make an initial determination as to whether in fact the person satisfies the requirement of the contract, and I believe their performance in previous contracts must be taken into consideration.”
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