Colombia’s national government has adopted a new decree on public procurement which includes measures to give co-operatives access to the public procurement system.
The decree also adds social and environmental criteria for public sector entities contacting products and services.
It specifies that co-operatives should be classified as small and medium enterprises to include them in the public procurement system.
Under the rules, public sector entities must plan their contracting in a way that promotes the division of contracting processes into batches or segments in which the participation of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), including co-ops, is facilitated.
The decree highlights the need to eliminate obstacles that could limit the participation of MSMEs in contracting processes.
The Confederation of Colombian Co-operatives (Confecoop) welcomed the decree.
“For Confecoop, this standard constitutes an important element so that co-operatives which are classified as MSMEs can better access the public procurement scheme. It is also an incentive for the promotion of co-operatives as an option to generate income and decent jobs,” it said.