The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved another loan for Guyana, this time to the tune of US$1M. According to the financial institution, the general objective of this assistance is to support a technical cooperation programme for the strengthening of the nation’s institutional capacity.
Expounding further, the bank said that the loan is expected to help improve fiscal management including public procurement, public financial management, public investment, and macro-fiscal management. With respect to the importance of such reforms, the bank was keen to note that it has been more than a decade that Guyana has seen robust economic performance, yet this growth has not been inclusive. The financial institution noted that per capita income remains among the lowest in the English-speaking Caribbean, at US$7,520 Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) in 2015, and the Human Development Index score stands at 0.64% compared with 0.75% for Latin American and Caribbean states.
The financial institution said it is clear that Guyana’s current institutional framework has not been able to translate economic returns into improved outcomes hence the need for fiscal management to be overhauled.
Even though it has outlined several areas for improvement, the IDB was keen to note that in the area of public procurement, Guyana has made some commendable strides over the last few years. In this regard, it pointed out that the legal and regulatory framework is relatively sound even though there has been little progress in deepening procurement capacity and capability to achieve fuller objectives of fairness, transparency, and best value. It said that an important step in Guyana’s framework to ensure proper governance of the procurement of goods and services was the establishment of the Public Procurement Commission (PPC) which came into effective existence with the approval of its Commissioners by Parliament in October 2016, and their swearing-in later that same year.
Another important advancement it said was the passing of the Procurement (Amendment) Act 2019 which mandates the Tender Authority’s implementation of a vendor registry, small business set-asides, and mandates procurement plans to be submitted by all procuring entities in the country. The financial institution believes that this is an adequate foundation for Guyana to build on as it settles into the international club of world-class producers.