By: L.N. Reklai
(Koror, Palau) A bill HB 10-7-1 to amend the existing government procurement law was referred back by President Remengesau with changes.
The bill seeks to amend RPPL No. 3-52, procurement law enacted in 1991. According to the findings of the bill, it “should be modernized to effect and encourage transparency and government”.
It identifies procurement officers of different services in the national government, OEK, and State governments. Senate and House version had identified Minister of Health as procurement officer of the Ministry of Health but President version removed that language.
“The Procurement Officer is an integral player in the procurement process. He or she is the main determiner of all procurements made in our government. It is for this reason that we must ensure efficiency and clarify the Procurement Officer’s role,” stated President Remengesau’s referral letter.
The bill raises ceiling on the value of the product and services requiring sealed bids to above $20,000. Items or services below $20,000 will follow small purchase requirements such as providing three quotes for the product or services. For State government, competitive bidding is required of anything above $10,000.
The bill also gives the Minister of Finance authority to review the minimum amount for bidding requirement to assess minimum bid requirement every five years and adjust them according inflation.
Findings of the bill state its purpose to be, “to ensure the fair and equitable treatment of all persons who deal with the procurement system of the Republic or any state government, to allow for the continued development of procurement policies and practices; to provide safeguards for the maintenance of a procurement system of quality and integrity and to ensure that all costs related to the procurement system are necessary and cost effective.” [/restrict]