Economic and political context in the Eastern Caribbean
Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, and the Virgin Islands, are small island countries in the Eastern Caribbean, part of a number of islands commonly known as Leeward Islands. All of them have their own legal system, derived from the British one, and thus use common law. Anguilla, Montserrat, and the Virgin Islands are British Overseas Territories. Under British sovereignty, the three countries are internally self-governing. Antigua and Barbuda and St. Kitts and Nevis are sovereign states, which gained independence in the 1980s.
The procurement systems in the five OECS countries have strengths and weaknesses in all areas of the public procurement system, evidencing reform progress achieved in recent years. However, substantive challenges remain. The countries face common challenges in all pillars of the MAPS methodology, but also have opportunities to find inspiration and a clear roadmap for successful solutions..
- Pillar I: Legal, Regulatory and Policy Framework
A few countries have established strong legal and regulatory frameworks, complying with a range of assessment criteria in the MAPS. Several countries, however, have not enforced a clear legal framework for public procurement, failing to follow on previously agreed reforms. Some countries have developed successful procurement tools such as guidance and templates, while others do not use these tools at all. Using public procurement to address broader policy objectives are generally not considered.
- Pillar II: Institutional Framework and Management Capacity
Generally, the procurement and financial management systems are not well integrated. Use of e-procurement remains limited, with some positive exceptions. Basic functions are established, but some countries have yet to put core institutions into operation. Often, responsibilities for functions of the procurement system are not clear. Generally, the countries do not have capacity to monitor procurement performance, to develop their procurement systems and professionalisation of the procurement workforce is not considered.
- Pillar III: Public Procurement Operations and Market Practices
Review of a limited number of procurement files revealed challenges primarily related to procurement planning and contract management. Some countries have developed procurement practices that allow contracting authorities to procure with a considerable level of value for money. However, these practices are not widespread. Lacking formal mechanisms for engagement, suppliers are largely not involved in public procurement decisions.
- Pillar IV: Accountability, Integrity and Transparency of the Public Procurement System
In all countries, the transparency of public procurement is limited. Civil society is usually not involved in any public procurement procedures. Judicial challenge mechanisms are in place, but administrative procedures and remedies are generally not in place. The countries have different levels of compliance with indicators on audit. All countries have some elements of an anti-corruption framework in place. However, there is limited specific consideration of integrity in public procurement, for example concerning integrity training.