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Procurement act will save country billions yearly

Lalchan said these savings can then be redirected into critical areas of the economy such as health care services, infrastructural works and education.

Lalchan was delivering remarks as guest speaker at Aegis Business Solutions Ltd's Governance Conference 2023, titled 'Regulatory Compliance for Digitalisation', which took place at the Hyatt Trinidad Conference Centre on Friday.

He said the Procurement act plays an important role in promoting transparency, trust, and efficient business operations, adding that the regulations drive compliance and reinforce the objectives of the Companies Registry Online System (CROS).

Lalchan stressed the need for companies to sign on to the Procurement Depository.

'We have heard a lot about the issue of pre-qualification; 'it's so difficult, you're getting real problems to qualify'. The question is, have you ever really seen what happens in the private sector when you have to pre-qualify? Sometimes your documents are as big as that (gesturing with his hands wide apart), but you do it because if you don't you cannot get through the gate, and you would not be invited. So that's all we're saying,' he said.

The former procurement regulator explained that the act is geared toward removing bureaucracy in the pre-qualification process, adding that once a company is pre-qualified it is accessible to all public entities.

Also speaking at the governance conference was the national chief digital officer of the Ministry of Digital Transformation Wendell Mitchell, who spoke about the Government's strategy and progress in the digitalisation of the public sector.

Mitchell outlined the foundations upon which the digital transformation programme was built and encouraged participants to 'trust the platforms' even as he stressed that companies should never 'collect more data and information from their clients than they need'.

'There is information that we will put on Facebook and social media that we are not willing to put on a government website. We have to be careful and protect our data,' he added.

In her welcome remarks, Aegis chairman, Angela Lee Loy, said the event was geared toward providing participants with valuable information and keen insights into the dynamic world of corporate governance, compliance, and the ever-evolving landscape of regulations.

'As businesses continue to navigate through the complexities of the global market, staying informed and adapting to changes become paramount to success,' Lee Loy said.

She also noted that the conference was particularly important for small and medium-sized businesses.

'Our primary goal is to equip SMEs with the right tools to enhance their governance practices, foster organisational resilience, and seize emerging opportunities.

'We will guide SMEs and provide actionable insights and best practices to help them achieve sustainable success,' she said.

GUIDING SMEs: Chairman of Aegis Business Solutions Ltd Angela Lee Loy, third from left, with tax officer of the Board of Inland Revenue Betty-Ann Maloney, from left, director of the Financial Intelligence Unit Nigel Stoddard, former procurement regulator Moonilal Lalchan, vice-president of investor services at InvesTT Stacy Adams, and national chief digital officer at the Ministry of Digital Transformation Wendell Mitchell at the Aegis Governance Conference, Hyatt Regency Trinidad, on Friday.

THIS country stands to save between $2 and $7 billion in expenditure annually with the effective implementation of and adherence to the Procurement act, former chairman and regulator of the Procurement Board of Trinidad and Tobago, Moonilal Lalchan has said.


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