Yesterday Senators debated several motions including the Stores Orders (Amendment) Regulations of 2017. The amendment seeks to increase the ceiling under which Government accounting officers may purchase stores and also to obtain store items from abroad without first having to obtain the written approval of the Financial Secretary. The ‘stores’ in this case refers to all items which are property of the Government and not accounted for as cash. The amendment increases the total cost of individual items of stores from three thousand to ten thousand dollars. It increases the total cost of items of stores in one single order from seven thousand to twenty thousand dollars. It also increases the total cost of items to be obtained from abroad to fifty thousand dollars, this is up from a requirement that all foreign purchases required prior approval. Senator for Government Business, Godwin Hulse, explained that with the passage of time, such low ceiling had become unduly constraining and restrictive and have contributed to the slow processing of the government purchases. On the other hand, Private Sector Senator Mark Lizarraga cautioned that there needs to be more accountability.
According to Hulse, no change has been made to the Tender procedure itself.