Cabinet Mandated To Release Documents For Tender Waivers

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By BVI Platinum News

Updated 11:02 AM AST, Mon Jun 20, 2022

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(PLTM) - Cabinet documents are usually hidden from public view for confidentiality purposes, but under a new agreement, at least documents pertaining to tender waivers will be shared with the public.

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This is one of the proposals under the framework for implementation of the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) report and other reforms agreed between the Unity Government

“The Cabinet agrees a standing waiver to allow publication of the Cabinet documents relating to Memoranda proposing tender waiver,” the framework states.

The CoI report was very critical of Government contracts and recommended that all contracts in respect of major projects valued at over $100,000, even if they have been the subject of contract splitting or sequential contracts considered by Cabinet or, if not considered by Cabinet, considered and approved by a Minister over the last three years should be the subject of a full audit performed by the Auditor General or some other independent person or body instructed by her.

The audit report, the CoI report noted, is to be presented to the Governor.

The terms of the audit exercise should include consideration of whether there has been any manipulation of a project to avoid the open tender requirements (e.g. contract splitting, or the use of sequential or otherwise associated contracts for the same substantive project); Any waiver of the open tender process, including the adequacy of any reasons therefor,” the CoI report recommends.

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Going forward, the CoI report recommended that all government contracts other than major contracts should contain a provision that there are no associated contracts that together would trigger the open tender process for major contracts.

Further, all Cabinet Memoranda which propose a tender waiver should be provided to the Director of the Internal Audit Department in advance so that she can make observations to Cabinet as to the appropriateness of a waiver and also instigate any audit of the project that she considers fit

It has been proposed that the Internal Audit Department conducts spot checks on non-major contracts to confirm conformity with the relevant provisions of the amended Public Finance Management Act as a complementary measure to the work that will be undertaken by the Contractor General once he or she is appointed.

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