How will Public Procurement Officers manage the direct and indirect impact of Covid-19?
We are experiencing unprecedented health, social and economic events as a result of Covid-19. Public servants are really struggling to ensure there are enough supplies to urgently protect all citizens while competing, with the same urgency and priority with other governments for the same supplies around the world.
Innovation is crucial when things are tough
Innovation is often more about finding different ways to take the right steps and think creatively. Procurement innovation in governments will need to do this whilst following the principles of being open, fair and transparent.
The circumstances we find ourselves in call for a collaborative-mature respond across different instances of governments - federal, state and municipal authorities, as well as with international partners - looking to meet the needs of people for services, supplies, health, during economic and social disruption, and by working diligently with trained-public servants, health and medical professionals to put in place plans, infrastructure, and resources needed to protect their citizens.
How could governments achieve control in this crisis?
- To ensure a coordinated-response across the country.
- To invest on new strategies to content the spread of the virus.
- By establishing a COVID-19 Response Fund and measures to respond to the outbreak.
- To be prepared for potential-wide-ranging consequences on our health-systems, on people, our economy, and our small businesses.
- Help people to make informed-decisions on how to protect their health, families and jobs.
- To support Public Health, Education and Communication processes.
- To provide further financial support for public-health readiness of critical care-system needs and to support mitigation efforts, such as accessibility to testing, acquisition of required-equipment, and to enhance monitoring.
- To minimise financial limitations in supplies to hospitals and health-systems, ensuring free supply chain flow of the necessary provisions.
- Granting support to employees in quarantine or under self-isolation, who will claim for Employment Insurance (EI,) sickness benefits, or supporting those possible ignoring the mandatory waiting period to access for payment.
- Explore measures to support other affected-workers, involving income funding for those who are not entitled to illness welfare.
- To establish Work-Sharing programs to support employers and their workers who are undergoing a decline in business incomes due to the pandemic, to help them keep workers hired and capable of providing salary support in spite of reducing work-hours.
- Economic support to federal Public Health actions like amplified-surveillance, and multiplied-testing at Microbiology laboratories.
- By supporting research teams with a focus on accelerating the development, testing, and implementation of measures to deal with outbreak, comprising antivirals, vaccine development and support for clinical trials.
- To supply suitable personal-protective equipment such as face shields, isolation gowns and surgical masks, not only for federal needs but for those of all states and municipalities too.
- A Strategic Innovation Fund can distribute repayable and non-repayable contributions to firms of all sizes across the country to industrial and technology sectors that help companies to redesign their manufacturing facilities to develop the crucial supplies like ventilators, surgical mask, or isolation gowns, and more.
- Or for those who made changes to their equipment to produce hand-sanitiser, as several distilleries did; or sport-manufacturing companies which are now producing face-shield protectors; or private hospital cooperating with public-health authorities, welcoming those critically ill. Many are also looking forward to give monetary help for charity.
This partnership among government, financial corporations and private-financial institutions would support adaptable agreements for those businesses struggling to undergo tax-payment obligations. Government must react rapidly to speed up the Economy by reinforcing investment in federal lending agencies, lessening the tightening-credit conditions for any-size corporations.
Final comments: governments and businesses symbiotic-commitment and actions to put resources where they are most needed to keep employers, workers and society as a whole safe, whilst guaranteeing economical-resilience to face worldwide-comeback following COVID-19.
Public Procurement professional ethics is vital to preserving the level of accountability the public deserves. No doubt, an innovating-Procurement is an agile and powerful tool! Are you ready to come aboard?
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