KINGSTON, Jamaica -- The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) on Wednesday signed an agreement with the government of Jamaica to authorize the partial use of the national procurement system. The agreement effectively means that procurement can be undertaken by executing agencies, using the government’s procurement guidelines, rather than the IDB’s, once this change is outlined in the loan and grant agreements of either current or impending operations.
In her remarks at the signing ceremony at the ministry of finance and the public service, Therese Turner-Jones, the general manager for the IDB’s Caribbean Country Department, said that the signing is a major step for the country “since it indicates that Jamaica has made several significant strides in modernizing its public procurement processes, and therefore, only one set of rules will apply as it pertains to procurement for IDB-funded projects.”
The signing of the agreement can also be viewed as the first formal step in a series of steps toward the full endorsement of Jamaica’s public procurement system and related policies to govern procurement processes that are classified under the national competitive bidding procurement methodology in IDB-financed operations.
Noting that this is first time that the IDB has signed a procurement modernization agreement in the Caribbean region, IDB’s Turner-Jones said, “Jamaica is blazing a positive trail by taking the necessary steps to modernize its public procurement system in terms of the use of ICT and the development of an advanced system of regulation and supervision. This signing is therefore a strong signal of systemic growth in Jamaica’s governance systems.”
Audley Shaw, minister of finance and the public service, expressed gratitude that Jamaica’s ongoing partnership with the IDB has resulted in the signing of this agreement, adding that it is an indication of the maturity of Jamaica’s governance processes in terms of developing a system that is internationally recognized.
Shaw emphasized, “The government welcomes this marked achievement and anticipates that the gains to be realized through the implementation of this agreement will be used as a catalyst that will positively impact the success of future projects in Jamaica as we strive to achieve sustained economic growth.”
Following the signing, Shaw called on procurement officers throughout the government to ‘cut the red tape’ and move speedily to ensure efficiency, transparency and success in the procurement process.
“Let us get things done as quickly as possible using the appropriate standards,” he said.