Local businesses meet with gov’t contractors at ‘Puerto Rico Compra’ event
Thousands of local business owners, representatives and professionals were taking part in the General Services Administration’s (ASG, in Spanish) Puerto Rico Compra convention, which began today and will run through tomorrow at the Puerto Rico Convention Center.
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 event to give companies 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.
Agency Administrator Karla Mercado called on professionals, vendors and business people, government employees and the public to participate in the event. The activity will feature exhibitions of products and services, and the agenda will include talks by experts in public procurement processes.
Businesses that have or aspire to do or expand their business networks with the government will have the opportunity to present their offer, Mercado said.
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 certain municipalities.
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.
“This convention offers an excellent platform for companies to present their offers, new or regular, to two important groups: the officials who make purchasing decisions in the government and the human resources that use the products and services,” said Mercado.
“Ethical and transparent contact and communication among these sectors, which is promoted through the convention, reinforces the strategic planning processes of government procurement and contracting,” she said.
“In addition, it provides to expand our records of suppliers and bidders and with it, the options of products and prices,” Mercado said.
For the benefit of new and current entrepreneurs, today’s speakers were offering 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.
During the 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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