The Government is duty bound to act as a responsible leader in the area of green procurement given the millions of euros purchased annually, said the Minister for Finance Prof. Edward Scicluna during a Green Public Procurement and Smart City Support in the Energy Sector (GRASP) Seminar in Valletta.
GRASP is a Med programme funded by national funding agencies, participating entities, and the European Commission through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). It is a 27-month project with a budget of €2.234.991. The project kicked-off amongst the participating partners in May of 2013.
Delivering the opening keynote address of the two-day seminar, Prof. Scicluna welcomed the GRASP initiative, underlining that he was delighted to be delivering a keynote speech on an issue that has woefully fallen by the wayside in recent years.
Noting that the Government’s Contracts Department alone is responsible for an annual procurement amounting to about €300 million for goods and services, he said that the Government should act “like a responsible citizen by making the best sustainable choices.”
Parallel also to this is the need of the Government to increase its efficiency in public procurement procedures, and announced that a recently published legal notice is intended to shorten the time period for such procedures by 20 days. He said that this reflects the Government’s commitment to reducing bureaucracy and red tape in this area.
He explained that by means of this legal notice, the threshold which required the use of the Three Package Procedure was revised upwards from €2 million to €15 million, as the previous threshold rendered the procedure lengthy and time consuming for lower value tenders.
Minister Scicluna further added that the same legal notice also removed the requirement for tender applicants to manually submit original bid-bond, and instead enables them to submit tender offers, including bid-bonds, fully electronically.
“This is in the interest of ensuring that the Government facilitates the process of electronic procurement, whereby applicants can submit their tenders completely electronically, speeding up the process in an environment-friendly manner. This should help in making Malta less bureaucratic and more competitive,” Prof. Scicluna concluded.
– Tuesday, 9th September, 2014