Chief Sec: Procurement process slowing Tobago’s progress

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

THA Chief Secretary Farley Augustine, right. – File photo courtesy THA

CHIEF Secretary Farley Augustine believes the current procurement structure in the THA is stymieing Tobago’s progress.

He made the statement on May 7 while delivering the feature address at the launch of an eTender Sensitisation initiative at the Shaw Park Cultural Complex.

The initiative, which targeted vendors, suppliers and contractors, seeks to develop a digital platform through which they can tender for jobs and projects in the THA.

Augustine said, “My biggest challenge with the current procurement regime is that everything seems to take forever. You can no longer get anything quickly within the THA. So even if you run out of toilet paper, you might have to wait a good two weeks to get that toilet paper.

“But digital platforms like this allow us to operate simultaneously, meaning that wherever you are around the world, you don’t get the luxury to stop working on what’s important for the people of Tobago.”

The new, digitally based tendering platform, he said, is another step in the THA’s thrust towards digitising all of its operations.

“We are too small of an island, too small of a government, to be so ineffective and inefficient in our day-to-day operations.

“We must admit that one of the areas where we have fallen down as a small island with a small government, by virtue of size, by virtue of economy, is that we just have not been able to move things along efficiently.

“And I am of the belief that speed and efficiency can actually operate in the same room. Digital platforms allow us to do that.”