Public Procurement is an important activity, representing a large share of the economy. In Kiribati it is as high as 40% of the GDP, excluding donor funded projects. Around AUD70M are subject to Public Procurement, based on national public funds (tax incomes) and traditionally around the same amount from international donors.

As such, Public Procurement is an important upstream input to economic growth. Wisely performed, efficient and effective Public Procurement offers substantial savings and quality increase of public services. It is also a tool for domestic economic and social growth, for instance by providing opportunities for local suppliers, e.g., by market alignment, training and information, market creations, domestic preferences, such as benefits to international tenderers offering domestic subcontracting, joint ventures, technology transfer, etc.

One important role of the Public Procurement professional is to increase the selection of viable solutions by means of well-performed and structured market assessments and to enhance competition. Early involvement of Public Procurement professionals, preferably as ‘procurement project managers’, will open up for new possibilities of improved outputs of the Public Procurement Contracts or Framework Agreements, leading to better outcomes of the related projects or services where the Public Procurement is an input. Such opportunities found later in the process, e.g., after receiving proposals in Tenders, are not possible to be considered at that stage, but a cancellation and a new process must be initiated, losing time as well as trust and good-will with the Tenderers, who had already invested time and money to prepare Tenders.

It is therefore important that the Procuring Entities are familiar with the benefits of early involvement from Public Procurement professionals and that time and resources are sufficiently allocated. Every Procuring Entity need to establish a Procuring Office and have at least one responsible Procuring Officer, depending on the Public Procurement volume and complexity. This Procuring Officer must be trained on this Procurement Manual and have access to necessary support from the Central Procurement Unit, CPU, but also has a responsibility to seek information and knowledge necessary to fulfil the principles of Public Procurement, as defined in Key Principles of Public Procurement in Kiribati, chapter 3.

Other people within the Procuring Entities also need relevant knowledge on Public Procurement, which is to be coordinated by the Procuring Office, and be trained by the Central Procurement Unit.

This Public Procurement Manual (Manual) is interpreting and implementing the Public Procurement Act 2019 (PPA19) and the Public Procurement Regulations 2020 (PPR20), to provide guidance, advice and support for all stages and processes of Public Procurement in Kiribati. The PPA19 regulates the important principles and procedures on a strategical level and is subject to approval by the House of Assembly. The PPR20 clarifies some important principles and responsibilities that may be subject to modifications decided on a Ministerial level.

This Manual provides detailed practical instructions to efficiently and effectively execute all types and procedures of Public Procurement and includes references to relevant templates. The Chief Procurement Officer (CPO) at the Central Procurement Unit (CPU) is responsible for the content and updating of the Manual. It is to be used as an ‘encyclopaedia’, meaning that it should not necessarily be read from first to last chapter. Instead, the relevant process can be found by using the Index and only such parts need to be studied and followed for the actual Public Procurement case.

The Manual is based on best international practice and adjusted to the special conditions and prerequisites of Kiribati. A very strong ambition has been to keep the Public Procurement Framework, including the new Public Procurement Act, the new Public Procurement Regulations and the Manual, as simple and user friendly as possible, avoiding the situation illustrated in fig. 1, still ascertaining the overall interests of the public and GOK efficiency, effectiveness and Value for Money. The legal framework is structured in an efficient manner, i.e., an Act containing the necessary rules for upholding the Public Procurement policy and interest of the House of Assembly, Regulations, as an outflow of the Act, for the Government of Kiribati to safeguard the Ministerial interests and policies, whereas the Manual is the main instrument to guide the Procuring Entities and Procuring Officers to comply with the Act and Regulations and, not least, to obtain Value for Money for the public spend and thereby contribute to the improvement of public services.

This Manual was drafted by Sven Erik Hargeskog, Senior Procurement Policy Specialist, as part of an Asian Development Bank Technical Assistance for the Kiribati Public Procurement Reform Program, KPPRP, 2018-2021.

The Central Procurement Unit (CPU) at MFED will answer and explain any questions or unclarities.

Refer to copy of Manual in this link Microsoft Word - Public Procurement Manual - version 1 (2021-02-26 )