The Procurement Policy Office (PPO), in collaboration with the African Development Bank (AfDB), organised, today, at the Caudan Arts Centre, in Port Louis, a workshop to disseminate the Methodology for assessing procurement system (MAPS) Assessment Report, approved by the MAPS secretariat following a two years’ assessment of the public procurement system of Mauritius.
The Director of the PPO, Mr Hirendranath Rambhojun; the Director, Fiduciary Services and Financial Services of the AfDB, Mr Frank Mvula; and other personalities were present on the occasion.
The PPO, operating under the aegis of the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, with the support of the AfDB, has initiated an assessment of the procurement system in Mauritius using the MAPS since December 2020. It was finalised and approved by the MAPS secretariat in November 2022.
The MAPS assessment of the public procurement system was undertaken on the basis of the indicators and sub-indicators associated with the four pillars, namely: legal, regulatory and policy framework; institutional framework and management capacity; public procurement operation and market practice; and accountability, integrity and transparency.
With the implementation of the MAPS recommendations made for short, medium and long term, it is believed that the public procurement system in Mauritius will be enhanced to meet the expectations of the stakeholders.
In his address, Mr Mvula highlighted that this assessment report was made with the objective to promote the development of a modern and efficient public procurement system for Mauritius based on international best practices through close monitoring, regular audits, review, capacity building and research.
Furthermore, he indicated that the assessment was conducted by a team of consultants recruited by the AfDB and technical support was provided by the World Bank. “The MAPS,” Mr Mvula added, “covered central government, local government and parastatal organisations and special focus was given on identifying areas for improvement in the operation of the e-Procurement System.”
“This MAPS Assessment was undertaken so as to support the Government of Mauritius in namely: achieving its goals; further improve the performance of the public procurement system; and yield optimal results in the use of public funds and delivery of services to the citizens while maintaining high standards of integrity,” Director Mvula pointed out.
For his part, the PPO Director recalled that twenty years had elapsed since the last Country Procurement Assessment for Mauritius was carried out as regards the public procurement system, more specifically in 2002.
“Government,” he underlined, “had taken several initiatives to bring improvements in line with the recommendations of the Report from the Country Procurement Assessment, including: the introduction of the Public Procurement Act (2006) and the development of the Public Procurement Regulations (2008); the implementation of the e-Procurement System in 2015; the setting up of a central procurement board; and provision of training for public procurement staff, amongst others.”
In addition, Mr Rambhojun underscored that this assessment was in perfect alignment with the public reform agenda which aimed at having government procurement carried out electronically and doing away with traditional paper-based procurement.
“The MAPS Report,” the Director remarked, “has made important recommendations as regards weaknesses and gaps of the e-Procurement System and provided a comprehensive review of the procurement framework.”
These include: enhancing the performance of the public procurement system of Mauritius by modernising the Public Procurement Act and the Public Procurement Regulations as well as supporting legal framework documents; implementing a Sustainable Public Procurement Framework; increasing accountability of public bodies for the full procurement cycle including contract implementation and service delivery; and introducing a mechanism for monitoring contract performance to contain delays in contract implementation in combination with the e-Procurement System.
On this note, he commended the relevant stakeholders such as the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, the AfDB, the World Bank, the public and private sector and the Civil Society representatives, for their collaboration and support in making this assessment a successful initiative.