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CSME consultation feeds into Regional Electronic Notice Board

Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 02, 2016 (SKNIS): Two consultations with the objective of discussing and negotiating a regional procurement regime, specifically pertaining to a regional electronic notice board for CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) member-states were held January 28 and 29 in St. Kitts.


CSME Deputy Programme Manager, Philip McClauren, outlined that there has been consultation on the procedures that have to take place for the procurement regime and negotiations have been continuous.  The policy on public procurement has been termed the Framework Regional Integration Policy (FRIP) and there have been discussions through different organs of the Caribbean community under the FRIP. 


Mr. McClauren said the policy itself was approved by the CARICOM Council for Trade on Economic Development (COTED) in 2010 and explained the purpose of the regional discussions.


 “What we are doing now is a series of consultations on the system because you are going to establish a regional electronic system for the publication of procurement opportunities with a threshold,” he said, explaining that there has to be a preset value for goods and services and a value for work contracts at which member-states can advertise or publish procurement opportunities on the community notice board for participation by all member-states including companies, individuals and the like.  “Any procurement opportunity below the threshold then, it is what you call their national space, you don’t need to advertise, so there is that level of demarcation.”


In providing the background, the CSME Deputy Programme Manager noted that the objective of the system is to allow and facilitate a fully-functioning, single-unified, open procurement market.


“So we are going to integrate the national markets of the 14 member-states into one unified market for procurement of goods, services and works by government,” Mr. McClauren said.  “It is really Government procuring goods, services and works from the private sector.  And as a result you need to ensure that you have unified rules, you have unified regulations, practices and procedures.  What had taken place thus far is that you have the policy to guide the development of a protocol.”


He explained that not all Caribbean countries would take part.


“It’s a CSME procurement regime, it does not include The Bahamas because The Bahamas has already signed under the revised treaty, that it is not participating in the CSME and by extension the procurement regime,” Mr. McClauren said.  “So the other 14 member states would have to accede to the arrangement.”


Consultations began in November 2015 and are expected to conclude by the middle of March, 2016.

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