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U.S. Secretary Of Commerce Penny Pritzker And USTDA Director Lee Zak Launch Best-Value Procurement Training In Colombia

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BOGOTA, Colombia – Today, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency kicked off the first phase of its partnership with Colombia under the Agency’s Global Procurement Initiative: Understanding Best Value (GPI), with remarks from U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, USTDA Director Leocadia I. Zak and Director General of Colombia Compra Eficiente Maria Margarita Zuleta. Over the course of the next three days, USTDA will train more than 100 Colombian procurement officials on how to obtain best value and incorporate life cycle cost analysis in public procurement processes, while doing so in a fair and transparent manner. 

“A competitive public procurement process will help attract investment to Colombia, and the work done through GPI has the potential to have a major impact on your nation’s economy,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Pritzker, whose remarks concluded the first day of training. “By integrating the concepts of transparency and fairness into the procurement system, the Colombian government will get the best value for its money, build public confidence, and generate real savings for taxpayers.”

“Colombia has been a key partner of ours for many years,” said USTDA Director Zak. “Our GPI assistance builds upon the laudable steps that Colombia Compra Eficiente has already taken to improve public procurement, in order to set the country on the path to international best standards and to ensure that the Government of Colombia is able to attain the best possible outcomes from upcoming procurements.”

“We thank USTDA for inviting us to be a part of the GPI workshop, and to be able to offer to the public procurement officers a workshop with world renowned experts,” said Director Zuleta. “This allows us to continue to improve the Public Procurement System and to head decisions toward value for money.”

Under the partnership, USTDA will offer Colombian government officials access to leading procurement experts, including professors from the George Washington University’s Government Procurement Law Program as well as energy and transportation technical specialists. This is the first activity under USTDA’s GPI partnership with Colombia Compra Eficiente, the country’s public procurement authority.

Building upon this week’s workshop, USTDA will invite a group of senior Colombian officials to the United States in early 2017 to share best practices and lessons learned from U.S. federal, state and municipal procurement systems. Colombia is the sixth partner country under USTDA’s GPI program and its first in Latin America. 

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