Procurement News October 11th: Happy Christmas from Portsmouth, Tanzania and Trinidad!

by Peter Smith on October 11, 2010

Tanzania hosts East Africa Procurement Forum

Dar es Salaam was the venue last week for this event, attended by 200 plus delegates from Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania and beyond.  The PPRA site has a good summary here of some of the speeches; interesting to see that issues such as outcome-based procurement, better use of technology, accountability and transparency are global concerns for public procurement.  I was particularly struck by retired high court Judge, Honourable Justice Thomas Mihayo, who said that he considered 100% of the country’s budget to be procurement because, Salaries are paid after a payee renders a service to a client, and therefore to me that is procurement”. An interesting thought….we may come back to that.

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells

Yes, we are just – oh, I don’t know, lets say about 60 shopping days from Christmas.  Deep joy, as they say (sorry, I am somewhat of the Scrooge school of thought where Christmas is concerned).  And Portsmouth City Council have issued an OJEU notice inviting bids for,

Installation, maintenance, removal and storage of Christmas illuminations.”

So if there are any teams of elves out there, with the appropriate health and safety accreditation of course, then get your expressions of interest in now!  Given the lead times actually, I suspect this is for 2011 onwards; or it might start with removal of the decorations this Christmas.  Anyway, Merry Christmas from Portsmouth!

Trinidad procurement policies and Balfour Beatty…

The Trinidad Express reports that;

“Works Minister Jack Warner revealed yesterday the People’s National Movement (PNM) government paid $21 million to international firm Parsons Brinckerhoff for a transport study and no study was done.”

These accusations against the previous Government seem to be in response to more allegations of dodgy procurement levelled at the current incumbents – including the award in one day of a $47m contract for upgrading the lights at Piarco airport…

Anyway, Mr Warner let loose a wonderful diatribe.  The previous Government had promised to bring in procurement policies for years but failed to do so; the new Government is now trying to clamp down on corrupt public procurement practices.  But interesting that a firm well known in the US and Europe may be mixed up in this local Trinidadian political fighting; Parsons was acquired by Balfour Beatty last year.  I’ve seen no response from them or Balfour on this.

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