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The Department of Contracts -
Winner of the National Enterprise Support Award 2017

The Department for Contracts, for the second consecutive year has participated in the National Enterprise Support Awards (NESA) organized by the Commerce Department within the Ministry for the Economy, Investment and Small Business. The Department competed with other Ministries, Departments, Public Authorities and Entities by participating and winning the category ‘Improving the Business Environment’. This category focuses mainly on innovative policies at national or local level which promote enterprise start-ups and growth, simplify legislative and administrative procedures for businesses and implement the “Think Small First” principle in favour of small and medium-sized enterprises.

This year the Department of Contracts focused on its central objective that is to facilitate SMEs participation in Public Procurement through innovative policies and simplifying legislative and administrative procedures. In this regard, numerous initiatives and measures have been taken and implemented so as to ensure that potential public procurement participants are provided with an equitable chance to take part in public works, services or supplies contracts. Hence, the initiatives taken vis-a-vis these criteria include the removal of tender participation fees; elimination or drastic reduction in the need to submit financial guarantees for Call for Tenders (CfTs) below the €500,000 threshold; complete removal of the three-package procedure; implementation of the European Single Procurement Document (ESPD) and the re-engineering of the tender submission process so as to simplify the same process and eliminate cumbersome and highly demanding offers.

The Department of Contracts fulfils the above responsibilities by issuing Public Procurement Circulars, Policy and Guidance Notes and this year has also published a Manual of Procedures to address unclear areas, whilst simultaneously introducing new measures for procedural simplification and reducing excessive bureaucracy. The publication of documentation provides the Contracting Authorities with the appropriate tools to prepare their procurement, thus indirectly shortening and harmonising the tendering process also for Economic Operators.

All the measures and public procurement documentation issued by the Department of Contracts indicated that the measures taken by this department served as an appropriate tool that aided Contracting Authorities adequately since the number of Call for Tenders issued during last year was approximately 7500, around 700 more tenders issued from the previous year.

The NESA prize that the Department of Contracts received amounts to €10,000, which will once again be donated to the Puttinu Cares Foundation.