Senate passes Procurement Bill at 2.38 am

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

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A divided Senate passed an amended version of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Property (Amendment and Validation) Bill 2023 in the pre-dawn hours of Friday morning. Senators sat for 12 hours and eight minutes – from 1.30 pm Thursday to 2.38 am on Friday – to debate the bill.

Critics said Government proposals would water down the oversight and accountability imposed by the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Property Act 2015, but proponents said the act needed more flexibility to facilitate the daily realities of acquisition by government bodies.

The bill will now return to the House of Representatives for debate on the Senate amendments.

Inclusive of piloting by Finance Minister Colm Imbert, the Senate heard 20 contributions on the bill.

With 19 votes for, nine votes against, and two abstentions, the bill was approved with amendments.

Then, with 19 votes for, eight votes against, and three abstentions, the bill was read a third time and passed.