Bidders for gov’t contracts being asked to register

All local and international bidders for government contracts are being asked by the National Procurement and Tender Administration (NPTA) Board to complete a NPTA Supplier Registration form to obtain a registration number which they can use on bidding documents for quick database referencing.

This way, the NPTAB says, it will be able to store and manage information on bidders for state contracts and can easily differentiate large, medium and small scale contractors, among other analyses it will undertake.

“Suppliers of all types are being urged to register because this system is designed to have a database of all bidders that provide a service,” Deputy Chairman of NPTAB, Mark Bender explained to Stabroek News.

Bender said that the registration form was also in keeping with promises the government made to ensure that small contractors are given twenty percent of all state contracts. Now the agency responsible for implementing that programme will have a database to access that information to evaluate.

Mark Bender

“It would be a useful tool to have this database as it would be available to do comparisons and so on. Yes, remember that twenty percent for small contractors so this would  help us to identify the number of small businesses as we’ll work in conjunction with the Small Business Bureau (SBB) of the Ministry of Business to access that information.

Last December, Minister of Business Dominic Gaskin had told this newspaper that he was confident that systems would be in place to ensure that small contractors get 20 percent of all state contracts as is required by law.

He said that the Ministry of Business, through its SBB, is charged with formulating a plan that would see this government initiative implemented.

“We are doing it and I am a lot more satisfied now than a year ago, because then we were still waiting for it to be put into action and now that is being done,” Gaskin stated.

During its first Budget presentation after coming to office in 2015, the APNU+ AFC administration announced its intention to set up a Small Business Development Centre. This centre was expected to research and document preparation needs of the country’s small and medium-sized business enterprises. It was also expected to ease access to the Micro and Small Enterprise Development (MSED) grant facility, which was created by the previous administration under the 2004 Small Business Act, by removing some of the criteria established in order to access the fund.

The Business Minister said that his ministry was piggybacking on the system developed by the NPTAB which would collect bidder data since the programme was launched two years ago. However, it had hit some snags as there was no system or database to evaluate if the intended target was being met.

“We have been in discussions with NPTAB and we are waiting on them to put their system into implementation. That system allows us to measure how many are going to small businesses. We needed a system which easily measures how many small businesses are actually awarded contracts and they have a computerized system that they were implementing. We are finally at a stage in our discussions with NPTAB where we can actually do that,” Gaskin explained.

A registry for small businesses was set up so that all contractors and service providers who are tendering would have to register and state if they are a small business. A verification system will follow up.

In conjunction with that system, the NPTAB software will be able to readily give data so that the Bureau will be able to see during a specific timeframe what the figures on companies gaining contracts are.

Gaskin said given the 20 percent target, the Bureau will continually assess and intervene where necessary to ensure that the target is met and that small contractors are given all possible legal avenues to make it a reality.

As part of giving small businesses a “push start” measures will be implemented for both them and large contractors.

“We know we are shooting for 20 percent but we have to figure out how we can intervene in the process in order to give small business an advantage in the bidding process. We are looking at including bonus points for the non-financial component of the small contracts in particular…to get them up on par with the other businesses. We are also looking at giving some bonus points to larger businesses that sub contract small businesses and so on,” Gaskin explained.  He also indicated that there will be some contracts set aside where only small contractors would be allowed to bid.

“Those are the main ways where we will take corrective action,” he asserted.

NPTAB’s Deputy Chairman, Bender  made it clear that while the NPTAB is asking companies to register there is no making it compulsory for businesses to do. However, he has urged that they do as both NPTAB and contractors will reap the  benefits such a database system brings.

‘Preparations for eProcurement’

The NPTAB’s advertisement, through the Ministry of Finance, announced that from this month it has begun registering bidders for government contracts.

“From January 2018, and as preparations for eProcurement and better procurement statistics continue, all suppliers must be registered by NPTA, and include their NPTA registration number in their bid/quotation submissions for all Government of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana (GCRG) procurement,” the agency states.

While the NPTAB’s website is still being updated, it is using the Ministry of Finance’s site and is asking all interested prospective contractors to visit the NPTA page of the Ministry of Finance website or to request it through email from DC_Compliance@Finance.gov.gy.

The agency stated that completed forms should be e-mailed to the DC_Compliance@Finance.gov.gy, or mailed to The Deputy Chairman – Compliance, National Procurement and Tender Administration, Ministry of Finance, Main & Urquhart streets, Georgetown.

“An e-mail acknowledging receipt of the form and its details, with a temporary registration number, will be sent by NPTA to the contact person identified on the form for verification of accuracy of the supplied data. Once NPTA completes internal verification of the supplied data with its sister GCRG agencies, an e-mail of the supplier registration certificate with the supplier registration number will be sent to the contact person identified on the form, or can be collected from NPTA. For more information please call +592 227-0094, +592 223-7041, or +592 223-7042,” the advertisement explains.

According to the NPTAB, the CARICOM Integrated Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) Regional Procurement Regime requires compulsory supplier registration for those suppliers interested in bidding across the CSME. “Registered suppliers will be visible to all participants across the CSME. The CARICOM CSME Guyana Public Procurement Notice Board is being finalized,” it stated.

Prospective bidders are asked to complete the form electronically using the free Adobe Reader and interactive directions are given on the site.

NPTA says that it “must be immediately informed” of any changes to the data supplied.

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