Procurement office in works

| 19/09/2013

(CNS): The deputy governor has said a new government department is being created to address issues relating to major public capital projects and procurement, based on recommendations made by the auditor general  in his report about how government currently manages these projects and the public cash spent on them. Franz Manderson told the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Wednesday that this new government entity will address most of the problems identified and fulfill the auditor’s recommendations. Some $350,000 has been budgeted for the office, which will deal with everything from developing new laws to establishing business cases for public projects.

Answering questions from the PAC about a report by Alsastair Swarbrick which had raised numerous concerns over how government has, until now, managed major projects and procurement, Manderson explained the creation of the new office. The Office of the Auditor General (OAG), which used the tendering process for the high schools and the entire Government Administration Building Project as case studies for its report, found significant weaknesses with leadership and oversight. In response, the deputy governor said a working group had been established to examine the findings and address the recommendations.

That work, Manderson said, was now almost complete, and after a report had been submitted to Cabinet about addressing procurement weaknesses, he had been given the go-ahead to establish the new Central Procurement Office (CPO) and begin the recruitment process for a procurement director.

The office will be responsible for standards, procedures and have oversight of the procurement process. It will also begin work on drafting new legislation, removing procurement from the existing Public Management and Finance Law and creating a new and separate law.

The deputy governor told the PAC that the future goal in managing projects would be to get things right from the start, and it will be this office that will establish the business case for any project before it goes to tender.

The office will also include the Central Tenders Committee, which will be renamed the Procurement Committee. It will be have a member of the private sector as its chair but government and the opposition will both be asked to make appointments as well as the deputy governor’s office. One member of the Standards in Public Life Committee will also sit on the procurement board. Manderson explained that it will be mandatory for any government project of $250,000 or more to be handled by the new committee.

Following the PAC meeting, Peter Gough, the strategic advisor to the deputy governor, outlined the plans for the office in an email to CNS. He said that once created, the CPO will be responsible for “establishing procurement laws and regulations, policies and procedures, developing and maintaining standard government procurement documentation, procurement oversight, carrying out some centralized procurement, advising government entities on procurement and training of employees involved in procurement.”

Cabinet has allocated funds for the new post of director of the central procurement office in the 2013/14 Budget. The CPO will employ three people with an annual budget of about $350,000, and Gough said the director would be the first appointment.

“A draft Job Description has been developed for the Director of Central Procurement and once the grade has been evaluated it will be advertised,” Gough confirmed.

From developing and maintaining laws, regulations, policies and procedures for procurement to be used by all government entities to establishing the business case templates, as well as advising on and approving procurement strategies on significant projects starting from $50,000, the office will be expected to train all government employees who are or will be involved in procurement.

The office will also stick with public projects as they roll out and undertake post implementation reviews to ensure that they have achieved the objectives of the business case and are within financial and time limits.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Great, just what we need, more civil servants. That will solve absolutely nothing!

    • Anonymous says:

      So lets see what we have here –

      1.the central tenders committe has been renamed the central procurement commitee

      2. we are hiring three more civil servants (for now)


      if the new director of procurement is in any way corrupt we really up the creek.




  2. Anonymous says:

    A hard-headed ex-pat with thick skin will be needed for this job.

  3. Anonymous says:

    With such a low budget, how are they going to hire anyone decent to head up this department?

  4. Anonymous says:

    THATS THE TICKET MANDERSON. Spend a couple million to set up a new department that will at least save Government a few hundred thousand dollars. Just tell the people that we can do it for $350,000.00 this year then come back next year and hit them up for another couple million to finish it off. Once you spend $300 grand on it they will not dare to refuse you the rest of the money you really want to spend. Look BoBo you even have the paperwork from KPMG to prove it is a good idea. I bet you even already know the perfect people to work in this new procurement depertment………..wayasay? they good friends of yours???????

  5. Anonymous says:

    I hope a cost/benefit analysis has been performed to ensure that the monetary benefits of such an office outweighs its cost. Let us hope that costs do not blossom into far more than the 350k as stated as governments are never cost conscious as the private sector. Another point is if no major capital projercts is being panned now, I think the procurement office should not be establisherd until it is a strong probability that a major capital project will "get off teh ground"

  6. The lone haranguer says:

    Oh God how many crack new civil servants will have to be hired to man this  new department!?

  7. Anonymous says:

    I am assuming that gov will have 1 procurement office across all of govt, thereby centralizing this function. Am I right here?

     If so, now let's do the same with HR, accounting and other admin functions. Any people made redundant resulting from centralization should be moved to other understaffed departments such as labor dept, the information commissioner office etc if they have the skills required for those vacant positions.


  8. Anonymous says:

    The best way to avoid the nepotism and political favors which are at the heart of much of the waste and corruption in Cayman would be to appoint a director of this new procurement office from outside the jurisdiction.

  9. Sam Putt Putt says:

    Fixing goverment with more government is logic only capabile of government.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Just ask Ezzard and he will find Caymanians qualified and able to do the jobs from the list of 2000 unemployed qualified Caymanians he refers to all the time.

    • Anonymous says:

      Notice how there's no more talk of his TLEP holder replacement, he obviously had no luck. People most likely never even showed up to apply for them..

  11. Don Felix says:

    No problem with this so long as "Capable" and Qualified people are employed and not filled up with these old loyal political govt retirees and Old Boy Network conflicted members and Fogeys who will only continue the little corrupt program and agendas of their brothers. The sole reason why many government boards and departments are so ineffective and corrupt is because this disgusting recycling program by those officials who handpick these inept, incompetent and corrupt individuals and install them into to these very offices.

  12. Anonymous says:

    10.28- incorrect- now let me guess, another corrupt cayamanian will get the job and fiddle the system again with his cronies until such time as it all comes out in the open and then they will bring in an expat to sortit out…sound familiar?

  13. Anonymous says:

    Before the jesters in the peanut gallery start with their criticism about any expansion of government we should realize that this is a good move. All major corporations have central procurement offices to ensure proper procedures are followed for major purchases.

    The budget projected for this office should be more than recouped by ensuring we don't have any more situations like the ones Big Mac got us into where the government was taken to court and had to pay large fines.

    • Anonymous says:

      So tell me, 10:32


      What are we now going to do with CTC ( Central Tender  Committee??) They are our Central procurers  for major construction projects.

      Purchasing services can and should  be extended to the CTC also. after all, all government purchases come with tendering.

    • Anonymous says:

      "Before the jesters in the peanut gallery start" – TOO LATE BOBO!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      More rearranging of the deck chairs on the sinking ship. Changing the names makes no difference if the office is ignored. You need a law that no money can be spent if it has not been specifically voted on in the assembly.

    • Anonymous says:

      I have no issue with this proposal as long as someone has done some analysis on the cost vs benefits.  If it costs $350k to save $250k then it's a bust, if I am being hugely naive about how much a department like this can save Government then I will be the first to congratulate them. 

      It still doesn't feel right that those currently in charge of spending aren't already ensuring they get the best service at the best price…you know, doing their jobs!

    • Diogenes says:

      Yes, but corporations don't tend to have both centralised AND decentralised procurement.  You notice they are adding a centralised department, but not taking away any of the decentralised divisions – net result adding more people, more cost to deal with fact currrent system doesnt work. 

    • Bruce says:

      I have to say that the posters on CNS scares me- Let me see if I get this right. The Auditor General who everyone says can do no wrong finds out that the Government is waisting millions of our money because of poor procurement practises and says that there is no one qualified in the Service to deal with large scale procurement projects. So the DG responds – he is going to set up a small office headed by an expert in procurement which will very likely save us millions- but everone thinks that a bad idea- what are you guys drinking????   For once we have a DG that takes the work of the AG seriously and we think thats a bad idea…. wow!   Lets see the thumbs down on this one!!!! 

    • Anonymous says:

      Come on folks. Where are you living? This is all about extra power in the hands of the DG. I hope the Premier hurry open his eyes to what is happening before his very eyes. Think about it for a moment. The DG is in full control of the civil service. Think of the huge piece of the budget that represents. Add the procurement to the cost of the civil service and tell me who will be running the country. Not you Mr. Premier. Clearly it will be the DG. Notice that the FS does not apear to be part of this new office at all.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks for this view, it has been a while since I have seen "spin"  and "junior propaganda 101" of this magnitude. The amazing part is that you expect the public to buy into it.

      Firstly, this government is being created to ensure proper procedures are followed. If the expansion of what is likely to be friends, family, bought votes is bad enough it is even worse that your are hedging against procedures not being followed.

      To try and justify this, you have predicticted a saving on the corruption or non compliance of procedures that it may stop reoccurring. That is quite ambitious.

      In fact, the spin infers that the budget should be "more than recouped" for this office. So now it is making money out of preventing the corruption that will take place.

      Just so the illiterate and under educated suck this up even more,  the "all major corporations are doing this" line is wheeled out to prop up a now thin and flimsy curtain.

      I would suggest the following –

      Follow the proper procedures in an open and transparent manner from the start and you would not haveto create this office.

      If procedures have not been followed, civil or criminal complaints are initiated.

      After the last government, this one is walking a high wire as the slightest sign of any deviation and they will be removed. That is all you should require to follow proper procedures.

      Most major corporations are familiar with this concept.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Let me guess, another expat will hold the position of Director of Procurement and of course their assistants will be from overseas too.  What a joke this place is.

    • WOW says:

      You couldnt even wait to jump out there and start spreading propaganda na true?


    • Anonymous says:

      Of course if there's no qualified Caymanian to fill it or would you rather put someone in this position that can't do it right just becuase they are Caymanian.. 

    • Anonymous says:

      yep, that's becuse there needs to be qualified professionals in these jobs, not local BS'rs

    • Anonymous says:

      Sounds a great idea.  Let's do it!

    • Anonymous says:

      You really are a sad, bitter twisted negative person. I wonder if you ever post positive comments.

    • Eat Chicken! says:

      Everybody who's qualified to be Director of Procurement please line up behind this guy.  Maybe William MacKeeva will apply for the position?

    • Anonymous says:

      More like 2 high paid Caymanians doing nothing and a low pay expat to do the work.  Look at the other departments.

    • Bean Counter says:

      No doubt a loyal party supporter or consultant will be brought into this role for an ever expanding civil service. There is a ROI that must be repaid

  15. Anonymous says:

    I truly believe this is badly, badly needed.


    However, I could not resist this funny:


    "Manderson explained that it will be mandatory for any government project of $250,000 or more to be handled by the new committee." As it is currently estimated to cost 350k (this will balloon to approx. 500k in a few months time, watch me), this will have to go thru the current tendering process which, as the Auditor Gen has identified, has "significant weaknesses with leadership and oversight."


    Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus has nothing on the Cayman Government – this IS The Greatest Show on Earth!

    • Anonymous says:



      You are so true about Cayman being a circus.

      The $250,000.00 government projects are  already being handled by the CTC.

      What difference does it make anyway ? the government companies make sure they break down these projects  to smaller amounts  so they can manage the projects in-house without CTC envolvement.

      They will split the $250,000.00 projects into two or three phases and control who they want to give these jobs to.

      Government keep making it easier for the corruption to continue. Some years ago they had it at $50,000.00 and ofcourse that was too small a money to play with, so they hiked it back to $250.000.00. 

      Come on Franz, we thought you were going to do things different…nothing changes…just the names.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Yes, we really need another government department.Sure there is a justification. Losing the big picture guys of why CI GOVT is our largest expenditure.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is a brilliant move by the DG and the Government. First time i have seen such a quick response to the AG recommendation. This will save the country millions.

  17. Hoping for better days says:

    Speechless, not necessarily a good thing!

  18. Anonymous says:

    I just love how Government downsizes. Eliminate 10 jobs there and add 25 jobs here. Great stuff ! Isn't PWD and CTC suppose to be dealing with this stuff ? Oh thats right they ain't doing it right so lets just create another department and add some taxes to cover the costs. We got to be happy about this….aren't we ? Anyway PPM if we here that you are simultaneously closing down the PWD then we will forgive you !

  19. Anonymous says:

    More civil servants with free medical and pension. 

  20. Weapons Grade Bollocks says:

    So more jobs for the "make jobs program".

    Unsustainability rules the day.

  21. Anonymous says:

    How about recruiting existing persons? Get someone knowledegable from each ministerial area. Thay must be a few extra so as not to grow the CS.