In order to boost its performance this year in the implementation of the Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP) so that the needs of citizens across the country can be adequately addressed, the Government of Guyana has been putting some deliberate measures in place.
Finance Minister Winston Jordan yesterday acknowledged that while there are challenges, the government has found workable solutions to aid in the timely implementation of the PSIP.
“Today’s [yesterday] meeting was very important from the standpoint that the Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP) itself is very important in our national economy. In fact, in Guyana’s case, it takes up a sizable part of our Gross Domestic Product. There are a number of issues still in the process, not least of which are quality staff, understanding procurement and its rules, and procedures, and we also have the issue on the private sector level where persons are taking on much more than they can do. So, all of these are adding to the challenges that we continue to observe in the PSIP. Today’s meeting heard those challenges again and we offered some solutions in some areas. Some of them are more medium term,” he said.
Minister Jordan was at the time speaking at the conclusion of a PSIP meeting of ministers, permanent secretaries, and deputy permanent secretaries which was held at the Baridi Benab. It was hosted by President David Granger and chaired by Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo.
The finance minister said that among the measures put in place by the government is the amendment and passage of the Procurement (Amendment) Bill Number 2 of 2019.
The legislation seeks to ensure that in the process of procurement, definitions are defined; there is a wider range of procurement methods listed; expansion of the way tender invitations are published; availability of budgets; mandatory registration of bidders; splitting of procurement; due diligence; description of the subject matter of procurement; inclusion of evaluation criteria; cancellation of procurement; forms of communications; debriefing; contract management; code of conduct; language of prequalification documents; debarment and suspension of suppliers; and “green procurement”, among others.
“I laid some amendments to the legislation a couple of weeks ago that will look at bidding, procurement planning, debarment; and so, all of those are part of the process. We are looking at the Department of Public Service and giving credence to the creation of some technical posts to make certain that this process is driven. We will be meeting back here in a month’s time and we will be again reviewing the progress made at that time,” said the minister.
He continued by noting that, “Relative to 2017, we had done quite well in 2018 and we hope to build in 2019 on what we did in 2018. It is only May but at the half year review when we are reviewing the performance in the economy, we will know for sure where we stand at that stage and how we look for the rest of the year.”
Speaking on the thrust of the government’s PSIP, the minister noted that the government is investing and will continue to invest in areas that are most needed by citizens.