400 procurement professionals from the Jamaican public sector have undergone extensive training in procurement practices. Some of those involved in the initiative were sent as far away as Canada and the United Kingdom to receive their education.
The move comes as part of a concerted effort from the Jamaican government to transform its procurement operations and ultimately deliver a more effective and efficient public service.
Of the 400 people trained, 300 received instruction under a certification series delivered by the International Procurement Institute, 40 received training in procurement law from the Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Canada, while another 60 people were trained in E-procurement by Crown Agents and European Dynamics in the United Kingdom.
Certification Critical for Reform
Malisa McGhie (Senior Procurement Analyst in the Procurement and Asset Policy Unit in the Ministry of Finance and Planning) discussed the training as critical for the ongoing development and success of procurement and the public service in Jamaica, claiming that the certification of procurement officers is a key component of the reform process.
“Procurement practitioners must also be trained in what the standards are and understand how to actually execute, those types of procurement, to meet international standards,” said McGhie.
Echoing discussions both here on Procurious and in the procurement media in general, Senior Director in the Procurement and Asset Policy Unit, Cecile Maragh, highlighted the importance in improving the profile of the procurement profession in Jamaica.
“We have to make sure that public procurement is seen as a profession and not a clerical function. It is not just something that you receive specifications and go to tender. It requires analytical thinking, it requires market research, so persons undertaking this function must understand that public procurement is in fact, a profession, and it should be treated as such,” she said.
The Finance Ministry has committed to training a further 500 procurement professionals over the coming three years.