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Sunday, Nov 27, 2022

Gov’t actively searching for BVI’s first Contractor General

Gov’t actively searching for BVI’s first Contractor General

The government is moving forward with the establishment of the Office of the Contractor General (OCG) as the position has now been advertised to be filled.

Applications for the job close on March 11 and applicants should have at least five years of experience as well as a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in one of several areas. These include accounting, auditing, financial analysis, law, management analysis, public administration, or project management.

The Contractor General (CG), according to the government, will monitor the awarding and the implementation of contracts from the government and from statutory agencies. The successful candidate will ensure the contracts are awarded with impartiality and merit; monitor the circumstances under which contracts are awarded or terminated and determine if there are any wrongdoings or irregularities.

The CG will also ensure the implementation of the contracts conforms with the terms set and watch for fraud, corruption, mismanagement, waste or abuse in the awarding of contracts by a public body.

The government noted that the Office of the Contractor General will serve to promote and enhance the standards of ethical conduct by consolidating laws relating to the prevention of corruption and the awarding, monitoring, and investigating of government contracts and prescribed licences.

Enforcing govt’s contract-award standards

The office is also responsible for supporting the establishment and enforcement of standards of awarding government contracts that will promote and strengthen measures for preventing, detecting, investigating, judging, sanctioning, and prosecuting of acts of corruption.

The responsibilities of the Contractor General include working closely with the Procurement Office, other government departments and statutory agencies to be aware of any award and, where applicable, the variation of any public contract by the public body responsible for such contract.

Extra layer of accountability

Last May, Premier Andrew Fahie proposed the Contractor General Act, 2021 and claimed it would be seen as an extra layer of accountability that will promote good governance in the territory.

The Premier had contended that the policy is not a ‘fishing expedition’ but rather something that is expected to save current and future governments “tremendous money”, reduce wastage significantly, and avoid unnecessary cost overruns in awarding contracts.

Over the past couple of years, concerns have been raised regarding the process of awarding contracts by the government and during the recently concluded Commission of Inquiry, it was a topic of contention.


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