Sunday, February 25, 2018

Procurement bill brought to Senate

The public procurement legislation was finally brought to the Senate yesterday by Planning Minister Dr Bhoendradatt Tewarie.

But he said debate on the Bill will not be initiated until at least three weeks have elapsed, to allow time for public scrutiny of the Bill in keeping with commitments already made to have the proposed legislation in the public domain.

Tewarie delivered a statement during the Senate sitting where he outlined the progress of the work with respect to drafting the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Property Bill, 2014.

He said from 2010 to 2012 the Parliament Joint Select Committee was given a mandate to consider and report on the legislative proposal to provide for public procurement and disposal of public property together with the legislative proposal to repeal and replace the Central Tenders Board Act.

Tewarie said in April, 2012, Cabinet was asked to agree to recommendations constituting policy considerations which would inform legislative proposals for public procurement and for repealing and replacing the Central Tenders Board Act.

This was agreed to in May.

He said a second JSC revised it and amendments were made on May 28, 2012.

The second JSC issued its final report to Parliament in June 2012 and this was subsequently debated and approved.

Tewarie said in November 2012, the Ministry submitted a draft Public Procurement Bill and accompanying regulations to Cabinet for its approval and agreement that the draft legislation be referred to the Attorney General for vetting and submission to the Legislative Review Committee for finalisation and introduction to Parliament.

He said in November 2012 the matter was referred to the Legislative Review Committee and during this period the Civil Society/Private Sector Group was fully engaged and they expressed a desire to make further submission on the Bill.

The LRC, he said, approved a Bill which was forwarded to Cabinet.

He said in September 2, 2013, the Finance and General Purposes Committee of Cabinet reverted the Bill to the LRC for further refinement.

The Bill was finally approved by the LRC on March 17 this year, subsequently approved by the Cabinet on March 20.