The Associate Degree in Procurement at the Barbados Community College (BCC) is an important component of the modernisation of Barbados??? National Procurement System, says Director of Finance and Economic Affairs, Martin Cox.

Mr. Cox, who was speaking on Wednesday at the official launch of the new programme at the BCC, said it was a key initiative in public sector reform.

He stressed it not only sought to develop the skill set of officers who would manage the procurement process, but more importantly, provided the basis for the creation of a career stream in procurement in the public sector.

The Head of the Civil Service noted that the strengthening of Government???s procurement capacity would see the re-designation of the Central Purchasing Department as the Government Procurement Department, once legislation on procurement was enacted.

???The new procurement legislation and accompanying rules will provide a standalone law and rules for public procurement, both in central government and statutory bodies. The legislation will also bind statutory bodies. Thus, there will be greater clarity in the procurement process of these bodies since it is always debatable whether they are to follow the existing rules,??? Mr. Cox said.

He disclosed that the Chief Parliamentary Counsel???s Office was finalising the draft Bill and rules before the necessary steps to complete the legislative process could be taken. And, he noted that the finalisation of the Standard Bidding Documents was also engaging the attention of the Solicitor General???s Office.

???We are therefore on the threshold of a new era in public procurement in Barbados. It should be very interesting to see how we adapt to the new law and regulations as well as to the new methods. However, any system is only as good as the persons who manage and operate it.

???Thus, the success of the modernisation of the procurement system will not only depend on the skill and capability of those involved but also on their strength of character, integrity and punctiliousness in ensuring that the laws, rules and procedures of the system are followed. Their fortitude in resisting efforts to breach the rules will also be important,??? Mr. Cox maintained.

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