The National Tender Board, which oversees the procurement process of state agencies, has for the first time drafted and adopted a set of Operating Rules and Procedures. The Operating Rules and Procedures came into force on Wednesday.

The National Tender Board works under the Ministry of Finance, with the responsibility for regulating and administering public tenders for the procurement of goods, services, works and consultancy services above a specified amount. The main task of the board is to ensure the fairness and integrity of the procurement process and to conduct the bidding process in the most transparent manner possible.

The seven-member board is appointed by the President on the advice of the Minister of Finance and it is tasked with ensuring that tenders are conducted in accordance with the rules and to decide on the awarding of tenders; adjudicating or appointing an adjudicator in cases of dispute over the agreements; formulating rules where the Board deems it necessary to formulate special rules to carry out a responsibility; and deciding on variations submitted for board approval.

Under the new rules, the Tender Board has defined the responsibilities of the chairman, vice chairman and members, and has drawn up a code of conduct, specified the types of meetings of the board, and delineated the procedures to be followed.

The rules also require all board meetings to be minuted and all pertinent information to be included. Although the rules state that these decisions will be made public in accordance with a procedure determined by the Ministry of Finance, the board may determine instances where such decisions will be kept confidential.