GEORGETOWN, Guyana (Monday, February 20, 2023) — Public Works Minister, Juan Edghill, reassured Black businesses and entrepreneurs that numerous opportunities exist in all sectors for small contractors.
The minister was speaking during a procurement training session for members of the Black Entrepreneurs Association, on Saturday, at the Umana Yana, in Kingston, Georgetown.
“Small contractors are not only weeding and cleaning, civil works building of a fence, building of guard huts, building of sanitary blocks in our ministry, building of roads, because there are some roads that fall under the $15 million margin that could be given to small contracts; and then, on the maintenance side of the budget, you have maintenance of buildings, plumbing, guttering, electrical, air conditioning, a whole host of other fields that could be involved…sea defence maintenance,” Minister Edghill noted.
He said the training is the fulfillment of a commitment made at a previous engagement with the association.
“At that meeting, I did make an offer that we will provide an opportunity, where we will be able to bring our technical people, who are involved in the procurement and management of contracts, to interface with you to be able to share with you all of the necessary know how, wherewith all, that you would be able to submit winning bids and, when you win a bid, ensuring that you fulfil your obligations, in keeping with the terms and conditions of your contract.”
The minister highlighted the importance of meeting the criteria to secure contracts.
“It is still in some people’s heads that a minister or some government official could pick up the phone and call a friend and say that I have a job for you to do… maybe that happened a long time ago, our country is governed by laws, the procurement act of 2003.”
He added that the act requires that notice must be given before government projects can be executed.
“It not who know you and who you know, it’s following the system, because when you throw that bid in the tender box and the evaluators are evaluating, your photograph is not on it, nobody knows who you are, they are looking at the documentation that is presented, and getting your documentation right is what is important,” Minister Edghill emphasised.
The public works minister indicated that the government also changed certain criteria, like the requirement of three to five years’ experience, to enable new contractors to benefit from these opportunities.
“And that was to facilitate and help people to enter into the market and be able to show forth their talent and their skill and get the necessary experience to climb the ladder,” he stated.