CDB approves funding to advance modernisation of procurement systems in the OECS

From the CDB


Bridgetown, Barbados – In the Caribbean, procurement challenges are a key contributing factor to late project start-up, slow disbursements and extended project implementation, which result in delayed project outcomes. The Board of Directors of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has approved a USD$700,000 grant to assist with the establishment of modern procurement systems in the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).

The project will contribute toward the strengthening of public procurement systems and related institutional capacity in the OECS through results-focused activities that provide for effective, efficient and transparent procurement.

Daniel Best, director of the Projects Department of the CDB, notes that public procurement has a direct impact on the economies of the bank’s borrowing member countries (BMCs). “According to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) research, typically 10-15 percent of a country’s gross domestic product goes through its public procurement system and this is often considerably more in small island developing states such as our BMCs,” he said.

“There is a direct correlation between the quality of public procurement systems and the efficiency and effectiveness of public spending. Research shows that better expenditure management provides a foundation for building stronger and more inclusive economies by promoting civil society participation, stimulating private sector growth and investment and encouraging wider improvements in governance,” Best added.

The project will comprise five components as follows:

  • an assessment of public procurement in five OECS member countries using the revised methodology for the assessment of procurement systems
  • post-assessment workshops and creation of national action plans
  • implementation of activities outlined within national action plans
  • development of OECS public procurement virtual network
  • the accreditation of public procurement officials by the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply through the regional procurement training centre.

The project is consistent with the bank’s strategic commitment to further good governance in the region and to aid more efficient implementation of its projects. It also builds upon the procurement workshop in June 2017 which considered opportunities for procurement reform across the OECS.

CDB’s work in public procurement has included the development of an online procurement course for Caribbean stakeholders and, in collaboration with the World Bank, support for the establishment of a Caribbean regional procurement centre at the University of Technology, Jamaica. The procurement centre offers internationally-recognised procurement training, accredited by the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply.