Quick facts

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Countries: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Montserrat, the British Virgin Islands, Saint Kitts and Nevis

Year of assessment: 2018

Principal organisation: Procurement office / board from each country

Main partners:

Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)


This assessment was started thanks to a CDB-supported public procurement reform project that involved five Eastern Caribbean countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands, Montserrat and St Kitts and Nevis. These are small island states located in the Eastern Caribbean, forming a group of islands commonly known as the Leeward Islands. Formerly part of the British Empire, they all have their own legal system, derived from the British one. They use common law.

Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands and Montserrat are British Overseas Territories. They are internally self-governing. However, the United Kingdom is responsible for their defence. Antigua and Barbuda, St Kitts and Nevis are sovereign nations that became independent in the 1980's.

All five countries are part of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) customs union and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). Antigua and Barbuda, Montserrat and St. Kitts and Nevis are full members, while the British Virgin Islands and Anguilla are associate members.

In the five countries, public procurement has been generally not considered a strategic function to support effective and efficient policymaking, spending and service delivery. However, the five countries are part of the regional initiative to review and reform the legal framework for public procurement. These efforts have raised the profile of public procurement. The initial success of the reform had been uneven across the islands. At the time of the assessment, the five countries were at different stages of enacting and enforcing new procurement laws and regulations.



The OECD was commissioned with the assessment of the public procurement systems in these states by applying the Methodology for Assessing Procurement Systems (MAPS, 2018 version). The UK Department for International Development (DFID), the World Bank and the CARICOM Secretariat participated as expert peer reviewers.

The assessment was launched during the spring of 2018 with fact finding missions in June 2018. Stakeholders interviewed included personnel from the Procurement Boards, procurement and budget officers, staff from audit institutions, public service commissions, and buyers from entities including state-owned enterprises. Representatives from the private sector, civil society and media were also invited as part of the process. the Permanent Secretary Finance, Director of Internal. A final mission carried out in September 2018 was devoted to holding validation workshops with stakeholders from each country.


Key results and impacts

The procurement systems in the five OECS states have strengths and weaknesses in all areas of the public procurement system, evidencing reform progress achieved in recent years. However, substantive challenges remain. Some of the key recommendations of this assessment, valid for all states were the following:

  • Update or pass new laws and regulations to make sure that the legal framework is properly modernized and in line with international good practices.
  • Work with the countries of the region to highlight the importance of public procurement to Ministers of Finance and Executive Councils
  • Study options for expanded regional framework agreements
  • Work on the professionalization of procurement, for example by developing a professionalization program at regional level or by providing more training
  • Adopt provisions related to sustainable development and consider obligations from international agreements in the legal and regulatory framework
  • Set guidelines to ensure value for money is taken into consideration in the evaluation and assessment criteria of proposals and tenders, and provide guidance on planning and contract management
  • Engage with suppliers in an open dialogue, through the existing private sector associations
  • Improve capacities of audit and anti-corruption institutions, and create reporting mechanisms on prohibited practices and train public officials on integrity-related matters
  • Raise awareness with citizens on basic aspects of procurement

During the time that has passed since the assessments, the five states have each begun the work on implementing the recommendations:

  • In Anguilla a new procurement law and procurement regulations have been prepared and are currently undergoing final review by the legislative chambers.
  • In Antigua and Barbuda a new procurement law has been passed and transitional regulations have been put in place while new regulations are being finalized.
  • In the British Virgin Islands both a new procurement law and new regulations have been passed and are in operation, and training of government officials as well as the private sector has been initiated. Standard bidding documents are being drafted, including on the use of framework agreements.
  • In St. Kitts and Nevis a new procurement law has been drafted and is under government review, with new regulations in preparation as well.
  • In Montserrat a new procurement law is being drafted, which will be followed by new regulations as well.

“The MAPS assessment proved important in showing the areas in which we were doing well and in identifying and detailing key improvements required in our procurement processes. It has provided a pathway of sorts”

Ms. Ludiane Leveret-Richardson, Chief Procurement Officer of Anguilla