Given the importance of continuous evaluator training, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) was solicited to facilitate a two-day training session that will equip local procurement officers with the necessary best practice skills and knowledge of tender evaluation.This workshop, which commenced on Wednesday, will complement ongoing training sessions done annually by the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB).According to Chairman of NPTAB, Berkley Wickham, evaluators find themselves in the spotlight of scrutiny over their recommendations now more than ever, especially with the establishment of the Public Procurement Commission (PPC)International Procurement Consultant, Dr Julian Laskiwhich allows contractors to protest bids coupled by public audit.To this end, Wickham told the evaluators that such training will prepare them for what is to come as Guyana moves towards attaining 21st Century Public Financial Management, of which Public Procurement is a principal business area.“… The Procurement Act and its regulations in Guyana will soon be changed. In fact, the recommendations for change is already with us; and among other areas, there will be new methods of procurement. An evaluation criteria will become more specific and perhaps little more complicated… [This] is not intended to scare you but in the real world of Guyana, you will find that while in the past the evaluation process may not have been challenged, you should never confuse poor but untested past practice with proper practice,” the NPTAB Chairman posited.Meanwhile, IDB Procurement Specialist, Ivan Gaviria, emphasised the need for increased training for local evaluators ahead of the impending changes to economic conditions.“With everything that is upcoming in the country – big changes, looking towards the future and also just ensuring that public procurement and the processes therein, evaluations etc, are maintained with the principles of fairness, impartiality and transparency, I think the workshop is going to be very beneficial,” Gaviria asserted.The two-day workshop, which is being held at the Marriott Hotel, is being facilitated by International Procurement Consultant, Dr Julian Laski, who will be looking intoA section of the participants at the IDB Tenders Evaluation Workshop at the Marriott Hotel on Wednesdayvarious best practices in tender evaluation to improve the participants’ capabilities.He emphasised that the training session will serve as a learning environment where the participants will get to see mistakes so as to not repeat them in executing their duties.While there has been much controversies over years surrounding the local procurement process, these were heightened in recent time following the establishment of the Public Procurement Commission.According to the Procurement Act, among the key functions of the Commission are to monitor and review the functioning of all procurement systems to ensure that they are in accordance with the law, and monitor the performance of procurement bodies with respect to adherence to regulations and efficiency in procuring goods and services and execution of works.Back in August, based on a report filed by Opposition Chief Whip Gail Teixeira, the PPC found that Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson breached procurement laws with the award of a consultancy contract to Dutch firm LievenseCSO for the feasibility study and design of the new Demerara River crossing.The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) recently submitted the findings of the PPC to the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) for criminal investigations to be carried out. It was reported that Minister Patterson was questioned on the matter during a visit to SOCU’s Headquarters on Monday.
Hairdryer team talks? Turn the setting to cool 1 This column originally appeared in Sport magazine, a brilliant free weekly publication packed with fantastic stories. Download the free iPad app here, and follow on Twitter @sportmaguk. And read on here to get former Bath and England rugby player David Flatman’s take on a big talking point from the world of sport, this week…“Cor, whatever the gaffer said at half-time, it’s worked!” is a reasonably common phrase in the world of sport. We fans also like to have a guess – pre-match and during the interval – as to what might be delivered to the players by their boss by way of last-minute purpose and direction.I can tell you that, in 14 years as a professional rugby player, I can remember one half-time talk. Just one. And the reason I can remember that one is because I was an as yet unused reserve. The team struggled badly in the first half and, looking to spark a change, the coach told me I was on immediately.“Mate, I need you to do a job on this prick,” he said, referring to Benoit Lecouls – the monstrously powerful, carnage-wreaking French prop I was running out to face in the second half. I think I remember this because I was not yet battling for oxygen, and also because I was rather excited.Otherwise, nada. So I think coaches’ talks are largely a myth. If we are talking specific tactical changes, then of course these can have an effect. Elite players should be good enough to respond and physically alter their actions. But that’s not generally the circumstance in which these phrases are used.We usually wonder about inspirational or hairdryer-based monologues when a team emerges rejuvenated and newly impassioned. And this is where I think we afford the team talk too much weight.I was part of a team that once underwent a study by a psychologist as to how we individually best absorbed information when under mental or physical duress, and how much of it would actually register.Pre-intervention, it was noted that we had an A4 ‘tip sheet’ given to each of us before each match that contained 78 tips. Seventyeight. Then we were bombarded with instructions and aggressive, sweary affirmations. Almost none of it went in, it was discovered.After a few months, and after the psychologist had spoken rationally to those who loved to offer orders and information, and to those who loved to shout a lot, things changed.I got a tip sheet with two tips on it. Two. And I recall them to this day. Our defence coach was a top bloke and was happy to totally adjust his natural pre-match behaviour to help improve real productivity, so the shouting and back-slapping gee-ups stopped and simple, reduced communication started.Never had I felt clearer as to my role when running on to the field.As for half-time, it was always a blur of rehydration, searching the air for oxygen, and having knocks either strapped up or jabbed. Most coaches seemed to need to shout things, almost as if that were what they thought they had to do.But the best ones always stayed calm, took their time, and gave the players as little to remember as possible.Shouting and balling means nothing. Just give me the info.