STATE agencies TSTT and iGovTT, jointly hosted a breakfast ceremony for about 100 guests at the Hyatt Regency Port of Spain yesterday to celebrate the signing of a memorandum of understanding between them for e-tendering services.
Ironically, even though the MoU is intended to make the procurement process for government contracts more efficient by increasing transparency and accountability, when Newsday tried to ascertain the cost of hosting such a lavish event, the paper was told that the parties “did not want to get into specifics.”
Telecoms service provider TSTT’s e-tender software was developed by the company in 2012, and has since then been used in the company’s procurement processes.
The MoU with iGovTT, the information and communication technology (ICT) arm of the government, will hopefully allow the state to start integrating e-tendering solutions to all its contracts, starting as early as next month with iGovTT transactions.
It provides the governing framework to jointly market and implement TSTT’s e-Tender software to 22 ministries, 119 state companies and 135 statutory bodies.
TSTT’s chairman Dr Ronald Walcott said e-tendering offers a solution to the “perennial challenge” of accounting to the public of billions of dollars from contracts for public projects.
“It is a well-established fact that transparent procurement practices are an important cornerstone to public trust and to earning a fair return on investment in a country’s development,” he said.
TSTT’s line minister, Public Utilities Minister Robert Le Hunte, said a veil had been lifted on some of the hindrances many in the private sector may have had regarding doing business with the government.
“The ease of becoming a part of the process should encourage the widest possible participation of vendors so that the government, and by extension citizens, will reap the benefits of a transparent, equitable and more competitive tendering process,” he said.
Le Hunte also commended TSTT on its push to finding new revenue streams and increased efficiency, as evidenced by its e-tendering software.