New Procurement Regime to Revolutionise Public Procurement in St. Kitts And Nevis

Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS): The Attorney-General (AG) and Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs of St. Kitts and Nevis, the Honourable Garth Wilkin, announced during today’s (February 20) Sitting of National Assembly that the Federation is on the verge of adopting a groundbreaking new Procurement Act. This initiative, developed with the support of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), aims to overhaul the current procurement system to ensure transparency, efficiency, and inclusivity.

According to AG Wilkin, the proposed Procurement Act, which is in the final stages of preparation, combines the best practices from model legislation across the region. This comprehensive approach is designed to bring a robust and thoroughly vetted bill to the National Assembly for debate. Attorney-General Wilkin expressed optimism that the bill will be ready for discussion at the next sitting of parliament.

The new legislation targets several key objectives, including securing the best value for money in public procurement, promoting efficiency, decentralizing procurement processes, and encouraging broad participation from suppliers and contractors. It also aims to foster fair competition, equity, non-discrimination, and transparency. Notably, the Act is expected to provide significant opportunities for micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises, as well as enterprises owned by women and young persons to participate in public procurement opportunities.

Attorney-General Wilkin emphasized the inclusivity of the new system.

“The new Procurement Act will allow anybody who provides a service, goods or works to register in a system, and whenever anything goes out to be procured, everyone registered in the system will receive a notice,” said Attorney-General Wilkin. “So if you sell cookies and there is a need for a ministry to buy a large set of cookies for whatever reason, you will get a notice and you will have an opportunity to put in your bid – widespread participation because at the end of the day, the most important factor is to get value for money and to promote efficiency.”

Attorney-General Wilkin addressed potential concerns about bureaucratic delays.

“We cannot in a small society allow red tape and bureaucracy to stop the wheels of government from turning or to slow them down so that nothing gets done,” he said. “So we are trying to find the right balance between transparency, access, speed and value for money.”

AG Wilkin said that the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis is committed to implementing a procurement system that reflects its citizens’ best interests and supports the Federation’s economic development. With the new Procurement Act, the nation will take a significant step towards achieving these goals.

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