The Gibraltar Government has slammed the GSD’s proposals for overhauling the system for awarding and supervising public contracts.
In a statement, the Government said it was “amazed” by the proposals made by the Opposition adding: “They do not seem to have realised that much of what they propose is already happening and that some of it is commercially impossible to do.”
“The GSD are clearly so out of touch that they are going back to the system that was in place in 2011 without regard to what may have changed in the interim,” the Government said.
It added that the GSD’s attitude does not distinguish what is realistic and practical from what is totally unrealistic and impractical.
Additionally, the Government insisted that the level of transparency and supervision which exists today is “without precedent” in Gibraltar and “certainly far deeper and more widespread than ever before”.
To this end it flagged how Government tender notices are now published on-line, along with tender awards and the number of applicants.
There is already an independent board in place that examines and awards Government tenders and is made up of independent civil servants, the Government said.
“The Board already includes experts when the subject of the tender requires technical or specialist expertise,” it said adding that there is already a set of defined criteria against which tenders are adjudicated.
“The tenders with a high threshold are advertised in the Official Journal of the European Union and subject to EU standards and procedures.”
Additionally, the Government explained that a value for money team to supervise the working of Government contracts is already in place.
“There are value for money exercises conducted already against Government contracts and expenditure.”
“It is possible already to prevent sub-contracting of Government contracts.”
Furthermore, No.6 explained that the award of Government contracts over £ 2,000 by Ministerial application is published on-line and the award of Government contracts over £ 2,000 by quotation is published on-line.
“The idea that commercial contracts of the kind that Governments have to tender can be discussed in public when they involve commercially sensitive information is plainly absurd.”
“This proposal is unworkable and unrealistic,” the Government insisted.
“The GSLP/Liberals have opened up the Development and Planning Commission and the Board of the Gibraltar Health Authority to the public because the issues involved there are very different.”
“In a sense it is a bit rich that the GSD should now preach about Government contacts and tenders given their track record in Government.”
“The GSD Opposition need to understand that they have to measure the language that they use,” the Government said.
“It is simply not credible that they should seek to distort the existing situation when their own track record in office was abysmal.”
“There will always be room for improvement but the present system is far superior to anything that has existed before.”