Imbert: Simplified procurement regulations will improve business

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Finance Minister Colm Imbert during a recent sitting of Parliament. – File photo by Ayanna Kinsale

FINANCE Minister Colm Imbert expressed confidence that the new simplified procurement regulations will improve the ease of doing business while still maintaining the objectives of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Property Act.

The release, on April 9, advised that the simplified procurement regulations, the regulations that are applicable to the procurement of goods, services and works valued up to one million dollars or less, were signed into law.

Imbert said the regulations are grounded on the amendment in section 58A of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Property Act, passed in Parliament in July 2023.

“The act proposes to introduce a streamlined procurement process for both public bodies and participating suppliers, contractors and consultants up to $1 million,” Imbert said in the release.

The regulations contains guidance for conducting micro-procurements; considered the procurement of goods, services or works for which the value does not exceed $75,000 inclusive of taxes, duties and other charges and small-scale procurements, or procurement of goods, services or works that do not that exceed $75,000 but do not exceed $1 million.

“The simplified procurement regulations does not remove the regulatory/supervisory role and function of the Office of Procurement Regulation but, conversely, augments their role by making special provision for the OPR to issue guidelines,” Imbert said.

Some of the issues the OPR can offer guidelines on include due diligence requirements for micro and small-scale procurements, maintaining a registry of agencies dealing in micro-procurements and the registration of agencies on the procurement depository for small-scale procurements.

“The regulations reduces a number of the applicable time periods, makes provision for direct contracting, which is a new method of procurement, and introduces the use of verbal quotations (which must be reduced in writing and kept in the prescribed form),” Imbert said.

The release added that the regulations also brings clarity to several ongoing issues including the meaning of “emergency,” acquisition of goods and services only available online, delegation of authority of an accounting officer, and utilisation of the one-envelope and two-envelope system.