The government has announced changes to its procurement procedures, saying they would lead to more efficiency and transparency. They would also make it easier and cheaper for companies to seek government contracts.
The new regulations bring Malta in line with EU directives.
The Ministry of Finance and the Principal Permanent Secretary said calls for tender would now be made online through an Electronic Public procurement System (EPPS).
Whereas, to date, three quotations could be requested for products and services costing more than €10,000, a call for tenders would henceforth have to be issued.
The appeals process has been reformed and all appeals will be heard before a Public Procurement Review Board. Appeals may be filed for contracts having a value of more than €5,000. The new process will lead to greater transparency and reduce the possibility of abuses, the government said.
The new procedure will also make it easier for the authorities to exclude companies or individuals involved in the employment of workers in precarious conditions or convicted of corruption, fraud, money laundering, tax evasion, organised crime, failure to pay social security contributions or having employed minors. Such companies may be excluded from tendering for government contracts for five years in all EU member states.
The Department of Contracts will see its role changed from operator to regulator and public procurement will be decentralised, initially with a pilot project involving two ministries.
Each ministry will set up its own Procurement Unit to consider offers for contractors worth between €10,000 and €250,000.
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