Preference being given to existing clients under Small Business Bureau for Govt contracts

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In an effort to avoid corruption in the Small Business Procurement Programme, which seeks to ensure that 20 per cent of Government contracts go to small businesses, existing clients of the Bureau are expected to get preference.

Speaking at the Small business Bureau’s year-end press conference, CEO Dr Lowell Porter announced that starting January, qualified small businesses will begin to benefit from 20 per cent of government contracts.

However, with such a program, the possibility of corruption exists and as such, the CEO of SBB, Dr Lowell Porter, has indicated that steps have been taken to avoid this.

“They have to register. During that process we’ll also verify. We have been working with developing MOUs with GRA and NIS and we believe that once we have that application, we will try to verify if that person is indeed a small business. If they’ve submitted any returns that puts them outside of the criteria for a small business,” he noted.

There have been concerns from stakeholders that some persons or companies may want to set up a new business to benefit from the programme.

But Dr Porter posited that the Bureau will be using a ‘points system’ to ensure that only genuine businesses reap the benefit of the programme.

With the Small Business Procurement Programme set to roll out in January, the Bureau’s CEO is calling on small businesses to register in order to be qualified to benefit from the initiative.

The provision of 20 per cent contracts for small business was passed into law under the Small Business Act since 2004 but its implementation was only announced a year ago.

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