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HomeEducation / CultureCaribbean Public Procurement directors better equipped to advance procurement reform with support...

Caribbean Public Procurement directors better equipped to advance procurement reform with support of CDB

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados Several senior procurement leaders across the Caribbean are now better informed about Regional and worldwide public procurement trends following their participation in the XVIII Annual Conference of the Inter-American Network on Government Procurement (INGP) last month in Asuncion, Paraguay, through funding from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).

Procurement Directors from Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, along with a CDB delegation, joined over 500 other representatives from governments, civil society, academia and other professionals attending the Conference. The INGP Conference serves as an occasion for countries to meet and share updates on the status of procurement reform and planned reforms and discuss common priorities.

CDB’s head of procurement, Douglas Fraser, said: “The INGP plays a critical role in sharing best practice and building technical networks across the Caribbean and beyond. The 2024 annual conference allowed participants to deepen their knowledge in several areas, including sustainable procurement, professionalisation, integrity and digitisation, which can now be applied under action plans that were developed at the event. CDB stands ready to collaborate with its Borrowing Member Countries and the INGP to support procurement reform within the region.”

Participant, Ludiane Leveret-Richardson, chief procurement officer, ministry of finance, government of Anguilla noted that conferences like INGP help smaller islands that are still in the infancy or youth phases of procurement to learn about evolving strategies being used to progress procurement in some of the more advanced islands/countries.

“From this year’s conference, my two key takeaways were the importance of professionalisation of our procurement functions and the transformative power of public procurement. Professionalisation equips practitioners with the necessary skills, knowledge and capabilities to execute their duties in adherence to procurement legislation. Meanwhile, public procurement can be the key to ensuring that an organisation operates as a single unit towards the achievement of its objectives. It can act as a positive engine for change in terms of innovation, sustainable practices, and being a catalyst for improvements in the achievement of value for money.”

Fellow Participant, Sean Cenac, permanent secretary, ministry of works, government of Antigua and Barbuda described the event as an example of how shared challenges, can generate shared solutions.

“The XVIII INGP Conference continues to strengthen professional relationships, serve as a medium for information exchange and an impetus for advancing procurement systems among its participating member-countries. This year’s conference recognised professionalisation and collaboration as official themes (among other vital strategies) that dominated side-discussions. For Antigua and Barbuda, the Conference reinforced how important it is to establish procurement fundamentals, while expanding and engendering stakeholder communities within a common objective. The INGP Conference has grown to be a vital institution offering a combination of technical and policy-level knowledge that promote insights and pathways to modernise procurement systems.”

In addition, during this year’s event, held under the theme “Promoting Development with Public-Private Collaboration through State Procurements,” CDB’s head of Procurement, Douglas Fraser led a panel discussion focused on strategies and tools to build stronger inter-sectoral alliances between stakeholders in the procurement process. The panel featured representatives from the US White House Office of Federal Procurement Policy, the Chamber of Commerce and Services of Paraguay, Robinson Global Management and the Paraguayan Road Chamber.

The conference was held with the institutional, technical and financial support of the Organization of American States, as the Technical Secretariat of the INGP; the Inter-American Development Bank; the International Development Research Centre of Canada, the Caribbean Development Bank and the National Directorate of Public Procurement of Paraguay, who hosted the event.

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