Simplifying Procurement of Imaging Equipment across Government through a Dynamic Purchasing System
Written by Danielle Mercieca
MITA, in order to fulfill a simplification measure is driven by the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) – Office of the Permanent Secretary (Strategy & Implementation), embarked on a project to facilitate the purchase and leasing of printers and scanners for all Government departments and entities through the setting-up of a Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) which was established in March 2020.
MITA sought to take advantage of this novel procurement method in order to aggregate repeated procurement and streamline the processes involved for the benefit of economic operators and public procurers.
As a procedure aimed at the procurement of commonly and repeatedly-used purchases or services, the DPS was considered to be a perfect match for office equipment specifically printers and scanners; common requirements in every Government office.
A DPS is considered a restricted procedure in terms of the Public Procurement Regulations. It resembles a framework agreement, with two exceptions, namely that new Economic Operators can join the DPS at any time during its duration and that the process can be solely conducted in a fully-electronic manner.
The DPS must be established by a Central Purchasing Body (CPB) such as MITA, for a determined period, and follows two stages. Firstly, a DPS is established, outlining the broad requirements and specifying the eligibility and selection criteria that must be satisfied for admittance to the DPS. The CPB evaluates each application received within ten working days, during which it may issue clarifications, and admits economic operators to the DPS.
The second stage involves Contracting Authorities issuing Specific Contracts and inviting all those economic operators who were successfully admitted to the DPS, to submit a bid. For every Specific Contract, only technical and financial information will be requested and evaluated. Contracting Authorities will then evaluate all bids received and award the Specific Contract to the successful bidder.
Specific Contracts issued through this DPS will have an aggregate value of up to a maximum of €500,000 excluding VAT.
This two-stage procedure saves a significant amount of time for both Contracting Authorities and Economic Operators. On issuing Specific Contracts for their specific procurement needs, Contracting Authorities need only evaluate the technical and financial information, thus decreasing lead times for evaluation. Economic Operators will only have to submit information related to their eligibility once since their suitability will only be checked at the outset of the DPS process.
Economic operators are also less likely to miss out on procurement opportunities, as once admitted to a particular DPS, all admitted participants will receive an invitation to bid for Specific Contracts issued under that same DPS. More so, since they have the possibility of re-applying to the DPS, where they have been previously rejected, as soon as they are able to satisfy the eligibility and selection criteria. This ensures a continued stream of interest and competition in the process.
Furthermore, such a the procedure leads to increased competition amongst Economic Operators which can be beneficial to Contracting Authorities in terms of savings, value-for-money and quality.
How to Apply
Economic operators can access all documents related to the DPS and register their application form Malta’s Electronic Public Procurement System (EPPS). An active EPPS account is all that is required, and application/admittance entails no expenses or obligations. The DPS documents outline the high-level specifications, categories of printers and scanners as well as consumables covered by the DPS, as well as the eligibility and selection criteria to be satisfied by applicants. Clarifications may be issued by the CPB in the course of evaluation and all applicants will be informed of their admittance or otherwise to the DPS within 10 working days.
As the Central Purchasing Body, MITA is currently evaluating applications from Economic Operators to be admitted to the DPS. Contracting Authorities will then be able to start issuing Specific Contracts as of the end of April 2020.
In order to realise this the project, MITA engaged in consultations with Government stakeholders, collected feedback and collaborated with OPM to identify the parameters of the DPS. Information sessions will also be held for procurers across Government and for interested Economic Operators, where MITA will provide an overview of the dynamics of the DPS.
Aside from drafting DPS documents and establishing the DPS on the EPPS, MITA is also providing further assistance to Contracting Authorities by making available tender and contracting templates and Standard Operating Procedures outlining the whole process for issuing Specific Contracts under this DPS, intended to harmonise requirements across Government.
Economic operators may obtain further information on the DPS procedure and keep up to date with related events (including the convening of future information sessions) through the link https://procurement.mita.gov.mt.
As Theophrastus once said, ‘Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend’- this could not be more true for Public Procurement. The Dynamic Purchasing System presents the perfect solution for saving time in repeated purchases and services across Government. Through this initiative, procurement officials will render their procurement processes more efficient and be part of this novel phase of procurement.
Through this initiative, procurement officials will render their procurement processes more efficient and be part of this novel phase of procurement.