Procurement reforms key to combat corruption

Procurement reforms key to combat corruption
Organization for Responsible Governance Executive Director Matt Aubry.

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – A governance reformer yesterday hailed the government’s proposed procurement reforms as ‘step in the right direction’, citing it as potentially a key piece of legislation to combat corruption.

Matt Aubry, Organization for Responsible Governance’s (ORG) executive director, said: “We are happy and excited to see this bill come forward. We had been anticipating it for a while. Procurement legislation and having transparency and openness is one of most effective bills that is used in other jurisdictions to fight corruption. In addition to the
independent deputy director of prosecutions and the Proceeds of Crime Act, this is another piece of legislation that can be employed.”

Aubry said: “We also see that it will support the e-procurement system they have been working on. Our anticipation is that this will result in a procurement process where bids will be clear, contracts will be vetted more objectively and results of procurement and decisions on government spending will become more available to the public.

“It is definitely a step in the right direction. We are working right now on analysis of the bills. When these drafts are presented there can be opportunities for greater input and we are looking to benchmark it against legislation that has been effective in other regions and around the world.”

The Minnis administration released its draft public procurement bill earlier this week.

The legislation paves the way for the full modernization of government protocols for contracts for goods and services.

More than 1,500 vendors have registered on its e-tender platform, according to a statement from the Ministry of Finance.