EXPRESSING support for the proclamation of the procurement legislation announced on Thursday, president of the TT Manufacturers Association Roger Roach said he is looking forward to the regulations and their details.
“The intent of procurement legislation is to bring transparency to the public procurement process, which by nature is supposed to reduce the temptation and occurrence of corruption,” he said. “With regard to the bill itself, now that it is proclaimed, we are looking forward to seeing the regulations that will follow these bills.”
Speaking to Newsday on Friday, Roach said the TTMA would be particularly looking to see if there would be an element on local content.
“(This is) to ensure that local companies involved in the provision of goods and services would have a first preference and continue to enjoy preference of treatment with regard to the spending of government funds.”
The TTMA also said it is looking forward to the appointment of either a new procurement regulator or the reappointment of former regulator Moonilal Lalchan.
Lalchan’s term came to an end in January. Since then one one has been appointed to the position, but government has put out ads for a new regulator.
The filling of the position is also one of the requests of former Joint Consultative Council (JCC) president Afra Raymond.
“The regulator’s position has been vacant since January 11, 2023, so we need to have that OPR leader appointed without further delay,” said Raymond in a tweet.
He said the proclamation of the law would give the country improved value for money in public affairs.
“I welcome this long overdue proclamation,” he said. “Even with the damaging suite of 2020 amendments, this act represents a tremendous step in the right direction of accountability, transparency and good governance.”
The Procurement Act was assented to on January 14, 2015, and saw to the establishment of the Office of the Procurement Regulator.
After seven years of partial proclamation, Attorney General Reginald Armour, in June last year, expressed concern on behalf of the judiciary on a lack of separation of powers, the wide authority of the OPR, the possibility of abuse in challenges to a public body’s procurement activity and hindering the functioning of the courts, understaffing of the judiciary’s procurement unit and insufficient assurance of due process.