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Government consults public on new procurement rules

Tue, 6th Nov 2018

The government launches a two-month public consultation today on the drafting of a bill regulating the government’s procurement of goods and services – including for the construction of public projects, with the aim of improving its procurement procedures and transparency.

A press conference about the public consultation was held Monday at the Financial Services Bureau (DSF).The public consultation will end on January 4. Two public sessions will be held during the consultation period.

According to the public consultation document, the government’s procurement of goods and services, including for the construction of public projects, is currently regulated by Decree-Law 122/84/M, which came into force back in 1985, along with another two decree-laws – Decree-Law 63/85/M and Decree-Law 74/99/M.

Decree-Law 63/85/M, which took effect in 1985, specifies detailed rules for public tender procedures for the government’s procurement of goods and services, while Decree-Law 74/99/M, which took effect in 1999, specifies detailed rules for public tender procedures for public construction projects, according to the consultation document.

The consultation document notes that Decree Law 122/84/M and Decree Law 63/85/M have been in force for over 30 years, adding that they are “obviously” outdated due to Macao’s socio-economic development in the meantime.

According to the consultation document, the government proposes that the new law on the government’s procurement procedures – Public Procurement Law – replace the existing major decree-law on the government’s procurement procedures – Decree-Law 122/84/M, as well as Decree-Law 63/85/M. Concerning Decree-Law 74/99/M, the government proposes its continuation as most of its rules still suit the needs, the consultation document says, adding that this decree-law is, anyhow, subject to possible amendments in the future after the implementation of the new Public Procurement Law.

Commentators and civic leaders in recent years have repeatedly called for amendments to Decree-Law 122/84/M, which they said was outdated. They have noted that a raft of irregularities concerning the government’s acquisition of services have been revealed in a number of reports by the Commission Against Corruption (CCAC) and the Commission of Audit (CA) in recent years, adding that the outdated decree-law has led to these kinds of irregularities.

The government proposes listing a string of rules with the aim of ensuring the impartiality and integrity of officials carrying out public procurement tasks, according to the consultation document.

The government also proposes rules with the aim of promoting fair competition among potential bidders for the provision of particular goods or services, the consultation document says.

The consultation document notes that the minimum threshold amounts requiring government officials to launch a public tender for public construction projects and for the government’s acquisition of goods and services listed in Decree-law 122/84/M were only revised in 1989, adding that the amounts are outdated due to inflation and an increase in construction costs in Macao over the past three decades. The document says that there is a need to change the threshold amounts.

According to Decree-Law 122/84/M, government officials are required to invite bids, if the construction cost of a particular public project is estimated to exceed 2.5 million patacas, and if the estimated cost for the acquisition of particular goods or services exceeds 750,000 patacas.

According to the consultation document, the government proposes that the minimum threshold amounts be raised to 15 million patacas for the construction of public construction projects, and to 4.5 million patacas for the acquisition of particular goods or services, both six-fold.

According to Decree-Law 122/84/M, government officials are required to request quotations if the construction cost of a particular public project and the cost for the acquisition of particular goods or services are estimated to be lower than the threshold amounts. In this situation, the officials are required to request quotations from at least three companies.

According to the consultation document, the government proposes that government officials are required to request quotations from at least five companies, if the construction cost of a particular public project is estimated to be between 7.5 million and 15 million patacas, and if the cost for the acquisition of particular goods or services is estimated to be between 2.5 million and 4.5 million patacas.

According to the consultation document, the government proposes that government officials are required to request quotations from at least three companies, if the construction cost of a particular public project is estimated to be between 2.5 million and 7.5 million patacas, and if the cost for the acquisition of particular goods or services is estimated to be between 100,000 and 2.5 million patacas.

Following the completion of the public consultation and the government’s final drafting of the bill, the public procurement bill must be passed by the legislature to become law.

(Macau News)