Unification of Public Procurement for 2014

From January 2014, the Government of Costa Rica will use Merlink as its sole purchasing platform.

Monday, May 13, 2013

According to Alicia Avendaño, secretary to the Digital Government, the transition to a single electronic procurement system is in the phase of adjustment, and should be ready in July.

Elfinancierocr.com reports that "migration to Merlink is tied to a bill to strengthen the leadership of the Ministry of Finance in this regard. "It is about legally establishing a single system for procurements. At the moment the law allows institutions to use any purchasing system," said Edgar Ayales, Minister of Finance".

"This law, which will be accompanied by a regulation which is in the process [of being formed], will strengthen the work by the Ministry of Finance as the governing body and will convert 'Gobierno Digital' into the supplier of this technology platform", noted an article in Elfinancierocr.com.

According to Avendaño, the challenge now is a matter of training for the cultural change in organizations, a view shared by Miguel Zaldivar, institutional provider for the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo (ICT).

"The problems we had were related to changing the mindset of the people to move from a manual system to a completely automated (paperless) one and that they understood it. However, now that the officials have got used to it, we have done well," said Zaldivar.

More on this topic

Conflict Over Government Procurement Systems

July 2013

Despite a direct order from the president, Costa Rican ministerial bureaucracy is still blocking a system which looks to eliminate corruption in public procurements.

The Ministry of Finance has not yet signed the decree establishing the mandatory use of Mer-Link in procurement processes, which could delay its implementation in January 2014.

Electronic Procurement: Transparency and Savings

July 2012

In just a year and a half the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad has saved $ 5.6 million by making purchases through the Mer-Link system.

According to an article in Nacion.com "At present, the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) handles 80% of its expenses in this way and its expected that this figure will reach 100% this year. If this goal is met, the institution’s savings would increase to $30 million. "

Costa Rica: Phase II of Public Purchases System in August

July 2010

The second phase of the public purchases system known as “Mer-link” will go live on August 15.

Alicia Avendaño, head of the Technical Secretary of the Digital Government Unit, remarked that 14 state institutions will join the program starting on this date, and that their suppliers will be able to negotiate goods and services on-line.

New State Procurement System Will Operate in 2010

July 2009

Costa Rica's new state procurement website is scheduled for February 2010.

Grupo ICE, together with the Technical Secretary for Digital Government and the State Procurement System of Korea will implement the system, so-called Mer-Link.

Krissia Morris writes at Prensa Libre's website: "The first module includes providers registration and product catalog.