The Government Procurement Conference of the Americas was carried out in Atlanta, Georgia to bring together 52 Senior Executives in Government Procurement from 20 countries of the Americas to discuss issues of common interest and joint action to modernize Government Procurement Processes as part of the countries’ efforts to increase transparency, small business participation in government procurement and implementation of free trade agreements. The meeting was co-organized by the General Services Administration of the US Government, the Canadian Commercial Corporation and the Office of Trade, Growth and Competitiveness of the OAS with the sponsorship of the Institute for Connectivity of the Americas and the US-OAS Cooperation Program.
The Conference consisted in two days of private sessions and two days of public conferences. During the private discussions the heads of National Government Procurement Offices of the countries identified four priority areas to modernize government procurement in the Americas, these areas are Strategy Development, Training and Professional Development, Competitive SMEs participation and harmonization of systems. They also agree to create workgroups to advance in these areas of common interest.
During public sessions the Government Procurement Conference of the Americas included discussion panels with speakers from the private sector, national governments, Universities and NGO’s involved in Government Procurement. Among the main speakers were Ana Vilma de Escobar, Vice-president of the Republic of El Salvador, Hector Barreto, Administrator of Small Business Administration of the US Government, and Robert Burton, Acting Administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy in the Executive Office of the President, Office of Management an Budget of the US Government.
These public conferences counted with the attendance of 245 participants from the private sector, governments, international consultants, and civil society and hosted a trade show of 32 exhibitors.
The countries represented in Atlanta were Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, United States, and Venezuela; the Conferences also had active participation of multilateral organization such as the Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery, CARICOM, and the Andean Community.