5 Facts – Awarding Government Contracts

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The Office of the Contractor General has been in the news recently, following the tabling of two damning reports in Parliament: one concerning junior minister Richard Azan’s actions to facilitate the illegal construction of wooden shops at the Spaldings Market in his North West Clarendon constituency, and the other regarding Energy Minister Phillip Paulwell’s “improper facilitation” of a bid from Hong Kong-based Energy World International (EWI) group, for the government’s 360-megawatt power plant.

This Fact Friday, we share some information from the National Contracts Commission on the correct procedure to award contracts.

  1. Invitations to tender should specifically include the following details where applicable:
    • The name and address of the procuring entity;
    • Description of the works, goods or services required;
    • The location of the works, goods or services;
    • The agency supervising the procurement process and, where relevant, the funding source;
    • The date, time and precise location relating to collection of the tender and/or pre-qualification documents and the officer responsible for providing them;
    • The charge (if any) for the tender documents;
    • The requirement that all tenderers provide evidence of possession of a valid Tax Compliance Certificate;
    • The requirement that all tenderers be on the NCC Register of Public Sector Contractors;
    • A statement that financial and performance information for each tenderer will be required along with the tender and that such information may be verified and will be used in the selection of a contractor or supplier;
    • The time, date, place and manner of the return and opening of the tender documents;
    • The method of evaluating the tenders.
  2. There are specific procedures for receiving, opening and evaluating tenders. For instance:
    • Tenders that are received after the closing time must not be accepted or placed in the tender box but shall be returned to the tenderer with appropriate notation indicating late receipt.
    • Tenders shall be opened publicly and both the advertisements for tenders and the tender documents shall contain invitations to those who have tendered to be present at the opening.
    • An analysis and evaluation of the tenders should be carried out by the tender evaluation committee and a report should be produced in the following general format: INTRODUCTION, SCOPE OF WORKS, PRE/POST QUALIFICATION PROCESS, INVITATION TO TENDER, OPENING OF TENDERS, RESPONSIVENESS OF TENDERS, ANALYSIS OF TENDERS, CONCLUSIONS and RECOMMENDATION.
  3. For contracts valued at $275,000 and below, three contractors shall be selected for tender.

  4. For contracts valued between $275,001 and J$10,000,000, advertisements must be placed at the following locations:
    • Parish Council Offices of the parish or parishes within which any part of the procurement is to be carried out or delivered
    • National Works Agency Parish Offices of the parishes within which any part of the procurement is to be carried out or delivered
    • Main Parish Post Offices of the parish or parishes within which any part of the procurement is to be carried out or delivered
    • The local or regional offices of the entity carrying out the procurement where such offices exist and are within reasonable proximity to the site or sites where the procurement is to be carried out or delivered.
    • Advertisements may also be displayed at local libraries, works department offices, or other suitable location.
  5. For contracts valuing more than $30,000,000, the minister with portfolio responsibility must take the submission to Cabinet for approval, after which the relevant agency may make the award.

Click here for more information on the awarding of contracts.