Ms Deborah Wargent, Procurement Adviser to both DFAT and MoFT responding to questions from participants during the workshop.

The Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) recognises the need to support businesses and companies to better understand Government’s procurement process as the private sector plays a vital role in goods and services delivery to the Government and the people of Solomon Islands.

SICCI on Wednesday 24 September, organised another procurement training attended by more than 40 business representatives as part of an ongoing collaboration with the Ministry of Finance and Treasury (MoFT).

This is the third procurement training the Chamber has hosted for its members since 2017 which delivers on the Public Private Partnership (PPP) MoU signed between SICCI and the Government.

In his opening remarks, Deputy Accountant General, Mr Douglas Sade emphasized that the government procurement process is where Governments and businesses establish their relationships to ensure Government service delivery, policy implementation and budget spending takes place.

Presenters included, Mr Leslie Penibanga, Assistant Accountant-General of MoFT and Ms Deborah Wargent, Procurement Adviser to both DFAT and MoFT. Participants went through a series of presentations covering topics; Introduction to Procurement in Solomon Islands, Understanding want Government wants, Responding to Government tenders, Evaluation, Approval and Award and Contract Management.

Mr Penibanga said when it comes to Government procurement, it is important for members of the private sector to understand the process of securing tenders and submitting proper bids.

“I believe that there are many quality suppliers out there. These are businesses and companies who have the capacity to provide quality services and goods to Government but (who) miss out just because they do not understand the process.

“It is encouraging to note that SICCI through its membership have genuine businesses and we are looking forward to bringing them onboard to participate in all of Government procurement,” Mr Penibanga said.

“That is the objective behind this workshop, to help businesses better understand the basics of what to do and what to expect from the government procurement process,” he added.

It is understood that 60% of the Government budget is spent through the procurement system.

SICCI Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Elect, Ms Natalina Hong highlighted that good procurement and contracting is important to Government, contractors and our people.

“The Government procurement process is an important relationship between government and businesses, which means more understanding and information sharing of each other’s needs and systems is vital.

“The private sector through the procurement process are always looking for solutions and ways to improve their products and service delivery to the public and think the training is an opportunity to better understand and apply the procurement process for both parties,” Ms Hong said.

In his closing remarks, SICCI Vice Chairman, Mr Ricky Fuoo acknowledge participants and Government through MoFT for their support.

“Your attendance signifies the importance of this workshop and continue to demonstrate the ongoing desire for greater collaboration between the Solomon Islands Government and the Private sector, through the Chamber of Commerce,” he said.

Mr Fuoo reiterated the procurement process is very important when trying to secure jobs, especially during these tough times businesses need to be well informed.

“Please utilize the things you have learnt during this workshop and add value to your respective businesses with this information.

“As a Chamber, we see such initiative as helpful for Solomon Islanders to be more competitive. We have the capacity to deliver goods and services for our Government but most time that simple error in the procurement process hinders us from getting those tenders,” he told participants.

The SICCI Vice Chairman, Mr Fuoo thanked MoFT for accepting the training invitation. “We look forward to further training partnership of these kinds from relevant Government divisions,” he concluded.

About the author

Philip Lilomo is the Chamber's Media & Communications Officer. Philip writes most of the Chamber's media releases. He also manages the website contents, designs the Chamber's monthly newsletter, brochures and maintains the organisation's visual branding. 

Philip can be contacted on email: media@solomonchamber.com.sb 

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