Aug 15, 2022 News
— as Govt. fast-tracks oil spending
By Kiana Wilburg
Kaieteur News – A US$1M loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is expected to provide critical training and certification to public procurement officers in the National Procurement Tender Administration (NPTA) as well as ministries in best practices in public procurement.
For this operation, the IDB intends to contract consulting services for the certification of 120 government procurement officials at public procurement level 1, which will include procurement fundamentals, principles, and general practices; 60 in level 2 effective procurement processes for successful project implementation; and 30 in level 3, including advanced procurement and contract management strategies, bringing the trainees in line in terms of capacity, with what is needed for a modern procurement system.
The certification programme which falls under the loan title: Support to Fiscal Policy and Management in Guyana, is expected to be completed within approximately 10 months of the contract signature date. The financial institution believes the loan is justified since Guyana’s institutional framework has not been able to translate economic returns into improved outcomes. It believes strengthened procurement practices are now even more important with the emergence of the oil sector and the government’s accelerated pace of spending those revenues.
In the area of public procurement, the IDB was keen to note that Guyana has made improvements over the last few years. It said the legal and regulatory framework is relatively sound even though there has been little progress in deepening procurement capacity and capability to achieve fuller objectives of fairness, transparency, and best value.
The financial institution said an important step was the establishment of the Public Procurement Commission (PPC) which came into effective existence with the approval of its Commissioners by Parliament in October 2016, and their swearing-in later that same year. Another important advance it said was the passing of the Procurement (Amendment) Act 2019 which mandates the Tender Authority’s implementation of a vendor registry, small business set-asides, and mandates procurement plans to be submitted by all procuring entities in the country.
Be that as it may, the bank said the procurement framework still does not reflect international best practices, adding that current procurement practices in Guyana have some gaps. This is reflected in the low score (D) received in the 2019 Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA) assessment Performance Indicator PI-24, which examines key aspects of procurement management including transparency of arrangements, open and competitive procedures, monitoring of procurement results, and access to appeal and redress arrangements.
In the area of public financial management, the latest PEFA Assessment in 2019 evidenced some areas of improvement, however, it also found areas with important weaknesses and potential for improvement. The comparison of the assessments indicates that between 2013 and 2019, budget credibility has improved as revenues are now well in line with budget estimates and budgets are executed within available resources.
On the other hand, the Chart of Accounts has not been modernized to comply with Government Finance Statistics (GFS) standards. Guyana was noted to be a pioneer in terms of adopting a Commercial Office the Shelf (COTS) platform for its Integrated Financial Management and Accounting System (IFMIS).
However, that legacy system has been having performance issues such as slow response times for queries and data registry, gaps between committed and executed amounts and duplication of efforts as many public officials have resorted back to manual procedures.
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