“The Government is determined to strengthen public procurement in a manner that will reinforce the Government’s strategic direction in the environmental, social, and labour law sectors,” said the Minister for Finance Prof. Edward Scicluna.
PRESS STATEMENT BY THE MINISTRY FOR FINANCE
Prof. Scicluna was speaking during an information seminar on EU Public Procurement Directives, which was attended by government officials, officials from contracting authorities, as well as private sector economic operators.
Minister Scicluna underlined the importance of public procurement, as it represents the manner in which the government and its entities engage in economic consumption. He explained that the Maltese government as a whole consumes intermediate goods to the tune of €500 million each year. Together with public investment, this makes up between 10% and 12% of GDP.
Minister Scicluna also explained how the European Parliament and European Council in collaboration with the EU Commission, on the 26th February 2014, promulgated three new Public Procurement Directives, which Malta is currently transposing into Maltese Law in a timely manner.
Minister Scicluna said that the Government is looking toward public procurement as a means through which it can further implement its Strategic Direction in the environmental, social, and labour law sectors.
Indeed, Minister Scicluna noted efforts to introduce Green Procurement standards into public procurement, so that the Government can lead by example by ensuring that all goods and services it makes use of, respect certain environmental standards.
Minister Scicluna announced that in the coming days, the Government would be taking a similar step in the industrial relations sector, thereby fulfilling a long-awaited electoral pledge.
“The Government has promised to address precarious work, and is taking action by resorting to other sanctions. The Government will be publishing a Legal Notice which will introduce commercial sanctions against errant companies who employ workers in precarious conditions,” Prof. Scicluna said.
Minister Scicluna explained that the legal notice will establish a Commercial Sanctions Tribunal, which will be empowered to blacklist companies from participating in government public procurement who are found guilty of being in violation of a number of criteria.
He added that in the coming months, the Government will extend this sanctioning to money laundering activities and other illegal activities as well.
“It is essential that public procurement be done in an equitable, transparent, fair, and prompt manner,” said the Minister for Finance Prof. Edward Scicluna.
Towards this end, Prof. Scicluna stated that Government is ensuring that all contracting authorities receive the necessary training and innovative technology to facilitate and accelerate this essential economic activity. He noted that both the Contracts Committee and the Public Contracts Review Board are carrying out sterling work in cutting down unnecessary red tape when it comes to public procurement.
“This is an intrinsic part of the Government’s aim to reduce bureaucracy, which means ensuring that economic activity is not held up to the detriment of the operator and the government itself,” Prof. Scicluna said.
“The Government will be setting the bar by saying: ‘As a consumer, I refuse to accept tenders from companies who do not respect certain standards in these fields.’ In this way, the Government will be leading by example,” Minister Scicluna said.
– Friday, 23rd January, 2015