Colombian government takes steps to include co-ops in public procurement

National sector apex Confecoop welcomed a decree which says public contracts should be tailored to participation from co-ops and other SMEs

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.

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