Procurement Commission lauded for high standards, getting ISO nod
The Public Procurement Commission (PPC) has become the 24th government entity to become ISO 9001:2015 certified.
The International Standards Organisation (ISO) is an independent, non-governmental organisation with a membership of 167 national standards bodies.
Organisations use ISO 9001 to demonstrate their ability to consistently provide products and services that meet customer and regulatory requirements.
Another 16 public sector entities are in various stages of implementation, and the majority are expected to receive their ISO 9001:2015 certification by the end of the financial year.
Established in April 2019, the PPC examines and gives oversight to public-procurement processes with a mandate to ensure value for money, efficiency, integrity, and transparency.
PPC Chairman Raymond McIntyre said the achievement is one that will forever be etched in the memories of the commissioners, management, and staff.
He shared that although the PPC has only been around for three years, it has been practising, reimaging, reimagining, and reigniting greatness.
“One hallmark achievement of which we are proud is that of the prominent reduction in the processing of applications for supplier registration. Current public-procurement legislation allows for us to process applications for supplier registration within eight weeks,” McIntyre remarked.
He said that the PPC has attained a record of an average of less than a week for processing supplier-registration applications, and in similar trailblazing fashion, processing time in the review and/or approval of public-procurement submissions from ministries, departments, and agencies is less than two weeks.
He is urging his team to remain committed to the highest standards of excellence in achieving key performance indicators and to remain devoted to its track record of quick turnaround.
National Certification Body of Jamaica (NCBJ) Manager Navenia Wellington-Ford commended the commission on achieving certification in less than six months.
“The implementation of the ISO 9001:2015 standard and being certified signals a company’s seriousness in providing quality products and services that meet international business standards. The Public Procurement Commission must be commended for its focus to provide services at the highest level of quality while ensuring customer satisfaction and business sustainability,” said Wellington-Ford.
Finance and the Public Service Minister Dr Nigel Clarke noted that the PPC pivoted during the COVID-19 pandemic and created a digital platform to facilitate the registration and re-registration of suppliers.
He said that as a result, at the end of the last fiscal year, 884 suppliers were registered, 113 more than the previous year.
“By making it easier to register the supplier, what we have is more entrepreneurs registering to be a provider of goods and services to the Government of Jamaica. Over one year, we had a 15 per cent increase in suppliers registered with the PPC ... ,” Clarke said as he also lauded the PPC for achieving an average turnaround time of under two weeks.
He noted, however, that this achievement is not to deny that the overall procurement system is not in need of review.
“It is the case that in many agencies and ministries of government, procurement takes far too long. Part of the problem is that we have many layers in the procurement process, and the procurement process was put in place prior to us having an independent investigative body, with its own prosecutorial powers,” Clarke explained.
He said that the public-procurement system must be reimagined in light of present realities through data-driven and evidence-based information to achieve greater levels of efficiency.