National Contracts Commission (NCC) Overview

Role and Function

The National Contracts Commission (NCC) is an independent Commission. Its primary objective is the “promotion of efficiency in the process of the award and implementation of government contracts and ensuring transparency and equity in the awarding of such contracts”.

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Membership

The NCC is comprised of eight (8) members, all of whom are appointed by the Governor General. The Commission serves for a term of seven (7) years, in the first instance, and is currently chaired by Mr Raymond McIntyre.

The NCC was established by way of an amendment to the Contractor General Act in 1999 and commenced its operations in the year 2000. It had its first full year of operation in 2001.

Functions

The NCC, which currently convenes its meetings weekly at the premises which are occupied by the Office of the Contractor-General, attains its stated objectives by:

  • Reviewing and endorsing recommendations for the award of Government contracts above $15 million in value; 
  • Making recommendations to cabinet for the award of contracts above $40 million in value;
  • Registering and classifying contractors who are desirous of tendering on Government contracts;
  • Overseeing the activities of its seven (7) Sector Committees, through which all contract award recommendations which are intended for review by the NCC must be routed by the sponsoring Public Sector procurement Agency;
  • Making recommendations to Cabinet for improving the efficiency of the procedures for the granting and implementation of Government contracts.

Sector Committees

The NCC has established seven (7) Sector Committees to facilitate the speedy processing of its review of Government contract award recommendations. Sector Committees examine contract proposals for works, goods and services which are of a value above $15 million. Sector Committees do not award contracts but seek to ensure that the Government procurement procedures are complied with.

Sector Committees are established at the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Water and Housing, the National Works Agency, the Port Authority of Jamaica, the Urban Development Committee and the Jamaica Social Investment Fund.

These entities were chosen to host Sector Committees as they have the available resources and experience necessary to support the contract review process. 

Standardized Procurement Procedures

Standardized contractor registration procedures and procurement guidelines are established to ensure that the Government contracts award process is conducted with integrity.

These procedures, which place emphasis upon transparency and consistency at all stages of the public sector procurement process, are intended to serve as a guide to Public Sector Agencies in their invitation, evaluation and documentation of the contractor selection process.

Powers of the NCC

The NCC may, by law, do anything or enter into any transaction which it considers necessary or desirable for the proper performance of its functions. The NCC may also make regulations prescribing –

  •       the qualifications required for the registration of contractors; 
  •       the procedure for the submission of tenders for Government contracts;
  •       the requirement for contractors to enter into performance bonds;
  •       competitive bidding in relation to government contracts;
  •       the circumstances in which the registration of contractors may be cancelled.

General – Relationship between the NCC and the Office of the Contractor-General (OCG)

The OCG, through its Technical Services Division, is the Office that supports the NCC in the discharge of its mandates under the Contractor General Act. As the NCC’s secretariat, it ensures that all of the NCC’s technical, administrative and human resource services requirements are fully satisfied.

Because of its subsidiary role as a resource provider to the NCC, the OCG is privy to the activities and deliberations of the NCC. Notwithstanding, the two Commissions, that is; the Commission of the Contractor General and the NCC, are separate and distinct under the law.

When the NCC discharges its mandates under the law, for example, when it endorses recommendations for the award of Government contract, those endorsements must in no circumstances be interpreted as an endorsement or approval by the OCG.

Notwithstanding, the OCG and the NCC, in the discharge of their respective statutory obligations and functions, complement the work of each other.