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Cayman Islands Government

Making Every Dollar Count

Conference speakers met with LOGB Kurt Tibbetts; Chief Secretary George McCarthy; Portfolio of the Civil Service (POCS) Chief Officer Mary Rodrigues, and POCS Management Support Advisor Kerri Grevitt prior to the official opening of Cayman's first Executive Procurement Conference. (L-R) Divisional Director, Northern Ireland's Central Procurement, Roy Bell; CIPS International Development Manager, Sheila White; Deputy Head, Scotland's National Procurement Centre of Expertise, Nikki Bell; Director, CIPS Graduate Diploma Programme, Richard Anstis, and Commercial Director, UK's Department of Works and Pensions, David Smith.

With the opening of a procurement conference for government purchasing personnel this week (Monday, 19 January 2009), the public sector's procurement strategies are under the spotlight.

Entitled Making Every Dollar Count, the three-day event focused on the essential principles of strategic procurement. It was organized by the Portfolio of the Civil Service in conjunction with the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) in the UK, and the programme featured several international speakers.

Several working sessions were also scheduled in which participants discussed Cayman's strategic procurement requirements, as well as possible future policies and procedures. In his remarks at the opening of the conference, the Leader of Government Business the Hon Kurt Tibbetts, JP, emphasized that it is vitally important that government spend constituents' money wisely and effectively.

"Strategic procurement is an invaluable tool to help us maximize value for money for every dollar spent. Informed procurement is the key for improved financial management and undoubtedly makes a meaningful positive impact on government finances," he said.

During his address, Chief Secretary and Civil Service Head George McCarthy stated that the need to raise procurement to a higher level within government was recognized even before the global financial crisis emerged.

He cited, as an example, the value of the recent work undertaken by the Portfolio of the Civil Service on behalf of the Central Tenders Committee, to implement consistent procurement processes across the public sector. "Government is projected to spend almost $98 million on goods and services this year and therefore, "how we buy must have a huge impact on government finances," he said.

Chief Officer of the Portfolio of the Civil Service Mary Rodrigues explained that the conference was launched to raise awareness of the importance of effective procurement practices, and as a lead in to the launch of a training programme on procurement through the Civil Service College and CIPS: "Ensuring value for money in our purchasing decisions and realising savings wherever possible is important in any context, but it is even more critical in these times of financial constraint. Our conference speakers illustrated that this is an international concern and that there are significant savings to be had, if we have a clear strategy, effective policies and guidance and provide appropriate training for our staff".

The opportunity to participate in Levels 2 and 3 of the CIPS procurement certification programme, delivered through the Civil Service College, has been enthusiastically received by civil servants and colleagues in some statutory authorities, and a second class has had to be offered due to demand.

The Level 2 Introductory Certificate course will include an introduction to the terminology and practical aspects of procurement. Course participants who are successful in an on-line assessment will receive certifications issued by CIPS. Plans are in place to offer other levels of the programme in the near future. Interested individuals are invited to contact Kerri Grevitt, at the PoCS at kerri.grevitt@gov.ky for more information.

Globally, CIPS has over 50,000 members, and it is the world's largest professional body in purchasing, supply, procurement and supply chain management.

For further information contact: Cornelia Oliver