NESA 2016
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NESA 2016

The Department of Contracts -
Winner of the National Enterprise Support Award 2016

In a ceremony held on Thursday 16th June 2016 the Department of Contracts has won one of the categories in this year’s edition of the National Enterprise Support Awards (NESA) organised by the Commerce Department within the Ministry for the Economy, Investment and Small Business.

This competition was open to various types of organisations competing in three different sections; local councils competing in Section “A”, ministries, departments, public authorities and entities and public-private partnerships competing in Section “B”, and NGOs, trade unions, professional associations, public and church schools, educational programmes and business organisations competing in Section “C”.

The Department of Contracts’ entry focussed on the category; improving the business environment which recognises innovative policies at national or local level which promote enterprise start-up and growth, simplify legislative and administrative procedures for businesses and implement the “Think Small First” principle in favour of small and medium-sized enterprises.  The department’s entry explained how the above was achieved through the introduction of the Electronic Public Procurement System, a system which revolutionised the way public procurement is conducted in Malta through the use of ICT.

The Electronic Public Procurement System has a number of advantages for enterprises.  Primarily, it is a web based system and therefore accessible anywhere and anytime.  An innovative and very useful feature for enterprises is the tender alert function whereby economic operators when registering can choose which types of tender they would be interested in, according the type work, supply or service they provide.  Economic operators would then receive alerts whenever a tender under their area of interest is issued therefore removing the need to go through lists of tender notices on each issue of the government gazette to find a specific tender.  All tender-related information is downloadable from the system and tender submission can also be done online.  The summaries of tenders received and award notices are all available on the system whilst tender clarifications are also requested and submitted through the system.  The Department of Contracts organises weekly training sessions for economic operators and has a dedicated customer care service on the system.

Since the 1st of January 2016 the Electronic Public Procurement System has become the only tool used for government tendering.  From its official launch in 2011, more than 17,000 Calls for Tenders (CFTs) have been published through the system and up till the end of March 2016 there were 3,243 economic operators registered on the system.  When it comes to training, so far 144 workshops have been delivered by the department’s IT Unit for 947 employees of economic operators giving practical training on how to use the system.

The Electronic Public Procurement System has been very beneficial to enterprises since it reduced administrative costs and lead time and increased accessibility and transparency in government public procurement.

The NESA award received by the department of contracts has a prize of €10,000 attached to it which the Department decided to donate to the Puttinu Cares Foundation.  The Department of Contracts will now be representing Malta in the European Enterprise Promotion Awards 2016 which will be organised later this year in Slovakia.

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