Nick Freeland to chair new tenders committee

| 19/01/2012

Nick-Freeland.jpg(CNS): As part of the government's overview and revamp of its procurement process, Nick Freeland, the former managing partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers, will be taking up the chair of the Central Tendering Committee. The premier revealed the appointment of Freeland to the key body in the oversight of government spending and value for money for the public purse on Thursday morning at the CBO conference. With the government's procurement system under intense scrutiny following the revelations of numerous irregularities and problems exposed by the auditor general, the process is facing a major review. McKeeva Bush said that he welcomed this review and he had wanted to see changes long before the audit office report.

“In case you think I didn't want it,” the premier told the audience as he announced the appointment and said Freeland was giving up his time to help in the review and the development of a new system.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    OK – but what about contracts for cronies etc that can be split up into multiple separate contracts to the same person (by dividing up the length into short periods or having the person form multiple companies with the same owner) so as to avoid CTC? Surely what needs to happen is that any contract benefiting the same beneficial owner to the amount of more than $100,000 over a 5 or 10 year period needs to be removed from political control.

  2. Anonymous says:

    What CTC actually does.

    It appears most of you do not understand what the Central Tenders Committee does….

    The CTC’s role is to review bid processes and determine bids FOR GOVERMENT EXPENDITURE/Procurement over CI$250K. They review the submission of a government tender, level and compare the tenders and make recommendations and award of contracts BASED on their technical committee’s recommendation. At that point the government entity issuing the tender should execute with winning party unless there is additional information that surfaces (bidder cannot provide performance Bond or something, bidder loses financial ability to execute or refuses to sign final contract, etc).

    Given the complexity of some of these tenders (anything from purchasing a helicopter, hiring a pilot, mortician or chemical engineer, engaging an insurance company, building an microwave antenna for police all the way to purchasing toilet paper for glass house) the CTC is heavily dependent on the technical part of the government to give it a report to assess in the first place. No one on CTC could possibly know the technical differences between a Eurocopter EC135, Bell 206L, Hughes 500D or a 500E and its suitability for marine patrols in Grand Cayman and Sister Islands.

    So the CTC's main role is to ensure that IF something is bid by Government over $250K that its process was correct & transparent and to independently determine who should receive the contract, many times based on technical input from a specifically formed committee or the actual entity that issued the bid. 

    The problem in Cayman actually occurs long before CTC and Nick nor anyone put there can solve it. The actual tenders need to be reviewed prior to issue to ensure they are not WEIGHTED towards a certain bidder (Example: asking bidders to provide something only one bidder can, or something one bidder has tremendous experience in even though its not critical for the contract) and the technical review process which can weight something more importantly than another (say making delivery time more important than quality of product). The CTC can, in those cases, make the 'correct' decision on what was provided to them but it is still wrong.

    In cases such as the CRUISE DOCK, FORCayman Alliance or any Public-Private project where Government is NOT SPENDING its own money, the decision becomes a CABINET BUSINESS POLICY decision. Not even the Governor has remit in these areas. As these types of projects, (known as PPP, P3 etc), have not been executed here before I understand that we as a country will go through a learning process with them and may have to even have our financial processes (PMFL) reviewed/changed to accommodate them.

    What we need in Cayman in those P3 cases is TRANSPARENCY and LOGIC in the Cabinet decision making process however the CTC has no role. If it is NOT the government's money/property its a Cabinet decision, full stop.

    Anyway best wishes to Nick on the CTC.

  3. Anonymous says:

    A good start ………….

    What needs to happen to make this appointment work is a lowering of the threshold at which contracts must go before CTC and/or a broader remit to allow CTC to randomly review purchases and contracts whatever the cost.

    It seems that most of what might be politely called 'wastage' comes from deals struck outside the current tendering scheme, sometimes by the simple ploy of breaking down a large contract into small pieces to avoid putting it before CTC.

    These smaller contracts also seem to be the areas where the worst examples of poor record keeping occur, with no valid audit trail to show where the money went.

    • Anonymous says:

      CTC would have to meet every day of the week to cover all contracts. Legally, anything above $250,000, including all Authorities contracts have to go throught the CTC. The problem is that contracts are not being put through the proper channels and Mac decides by himself.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Congrats Nick!.

    Please do try your very best to educate Mac on why your committee is necessary, why there is a process BEFORE contracts are signed and a little something about accountability.

    I suspect you will be a very busy man. Good Luck Nick.

  5. Anonymous says:

    LOL.  He wants a Central Tenders Committee; it just must not apply to him!  LOL

  6. Anonymous says:

    Nick, You brave to take up that position.  

  7. Anonymous says:

    So when he couldn't control the previous Chair he got rid him of him in the name of a "review" got news for him though, Nick Freeland is no "yes man" either, he may just have jumped from the frying pan into the fire

  8. Anonymous says:

    What's the point of having a Central Tenders Committee if Mac can award large contracts, such as the port, without going through such a committee?



    • Anonymous says:

      That is TRASPARENCY!!!!   He who has the biggest mouth makes the the most noise.

    • Anonymous says:

      THe point is Idiota that the process is about to change.  What is it about change that you dont get.

    • anonymous says:

      The Port contract does not have to go to CTC because its not gvoernment money being spent.

      • Anonymous says:

        Whilst the story may be that the Govt is not spending anything, this should still be looked at because it involves the use of a Govt asset. Similar to the idea of opportunity cost, it is very important to see if there is a better deal that can be made (using that asset) that benefits the country more. CTC is involved in selling/disposal of assets, so it should be involved in the use of them. Also, how much is Govt giving up collecting while it is not running the port?