The Government of Jamaica has promulgated a special public procurement regime aimed at increasing the possibility for Jamaican suppliers to earn government contracts. Speaking in the House of Representatives on Tuesday October 22, 2019, the Honourable Minister of Finance and the Public Service Dr. Nigel Clarke received the support of the House for two orders for Special and Differential Treatment, pursuant to the Public Procurement Act 2015 and Regulations.
Minister Clarke explained that as part of its strategy for achieving sustainable development, Government must leverage its position as the largest purchaser of goods, services and works in society. Government should therefore utilise its public procurement system to encourage the participation of Jamaican suppliers in public procurement, increase the capacity of Jamaican suppliers to compete for procurement contracts, and to develop Jamaican industries. "In any society, the Government is one of the largest purchasers of goods and services. As a result of that, the policy of the Government towards procurement can have an impact, not only on the cost of those services that the Government procures but on the economic vibrancy of the society," the Minister said.
The two measures that are being operationalised by the Orders are Domestic Margin of Preference and Set Asides. The Domestic Margin of Preference is the application of a prescribed factor on the bid price of foreign bidders participating in International Competitive Bidding procedures. The application of this factor allows a national bidder to earn a government contract even if its bid price exceeds the bid price of a foreign bidder by up to 20 per cent - provided that the national bidder demonstrates that its supply will include at least 35 per cent domestic content.
Public Procurement Set Asides create opportunities for Micro Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (MSMEs) who may otherwise find it difficult to earn government contracts. In this policy, 20 per cent of the Government of Jamaica's total procurement budget is reserved for MSMEs, and the majority of contracts for goods and services in industries including printing, furniture manufacturing and assembly, and the manufacture or assembly of drapery and related accessories are reserved for Jamaican suppliers. The Minister explained that while the government is carving out this space for Jamaican suppliers, the method of awarding contracts will still be competitive and the government will seek to attain value for money in its purchases.
The Orders are to be taken in the Senate at the next opportune sitting.
For further information contact:
Communication & Public Relations Branch
Ministry of Finance and the Public Service
30 National Heroes Circle
Tel: (876) 932-4656/4660/4655
Contact: Elaine Oxamendi Vicet