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GSA: Puerto Rico Compra is ideal event for connecting suppliers, officials

In an effort to expand the government’s supplier base, reduce public spending and provide business opportunities to local entrepreneurs and businesses, the Puerto Rico General Services Administration is holding the 2023 Puerto Rico Compra convention. At the event, companies will have the opportunity to present the products and services they offer to employees and government procurement officials, “on an open stage and on equal terms,” the agency said.

Karla Mercado, the island GSA’s administrator and government’s chief procurement officer, called on vendors, entrepreneurs, government employees and the public to participate in the event, which will take place from April 25-27 at the Puerto Rico Convention Center. Besides the government procurement officials, the event will include a broad participation of product and service exhibitors, as well talks by experts in public procurement, among other topics.

The nonprofit National Association of State Procurement Officials will also be attending, as is the director of the Dominican Republic’s public procurement agency, Carlos Pimentel.

Mercado said that the event, which is free of charge, will serve as the ideal place for entrepreneurs seeking to grow their businesses through government contracts, offering an opportunity to showcase their products and services to “two important groups: officials who make purchasing decisions in the government and the human resources that use the products and services.” 

The agency head said the convention promotes “ethical and transparent communication between these sectors,” strengthening the “strategic planning processes for government acquisitions and contracts. In addition, it provides for the expansion of our supplier and bidder registries and thus the options of products and prices.”

The GSA stated that by law, it is required to handle purchases centrally to obtain the best terms and prices, thus ensuring efficient use of public funds. The agency further added that the vendors who meet the necessary qualifications to work with the government are included in the Single Supplier Registry, which has 7,677 members, and the Single Bidders Registry, which has 3,319.

Annually, the government procures approximately $1.5 billion worth of goods and services across a wide range of categories, meeting the needs of public agencies and select municipalities.

During the event’s first day, speakers will offer insights on the government procurement platform, JEDI-2.0; public policies and procedures for acquiring goods and services; the government’s fleet management program; and processes and costs associated with construction projects.

On the event’s second day, discussions will cover topics such as ethics in procurement and bidding processes; the role of cybersecurity and artificial intelligence in government procurement; the Single Supplier Registry and Single Bidder Registry; emergency contracts and purchases; and the GSA Public Bidding Board.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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