The Government of Jamaica’s Electronic Procurement System: Experiences and Lessons Learned

Ahmad, T., Aljafari, R., and Venkatesh, V. “The Government of Jamaica’s Electronic Procurement System: Experiences and Lessons Learned,” Internet Research (29:6), 2019, 1571-1588.

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Purpose – Realizing value from information and communication technology (ICT) in procurement in developing countries is complex due to diverse stakeholders and intertwined procurement processes. The purpose of this paper is to examine the experience of the Government of Jamaica in leveraging ICTs as an intervention to transform its procurement operations and combat corruption. Design/methodology/approach – The study examines conversations with employees in the Government of Jamaica to understand key milestones in its procurement history. Based on the view that the intervention context is an ecosystem where multiple and inconsistent views of the e-procurement system evolve over time, the study analyzes milestones to reveal key actions that contributed either to the initial success of or introduced challenges to the e-procurement system. Findings – The findings suggest that inducing positive sentiments about the intervention through transparency will overcome a long history of negative sentiments about the initiatives of government bodies in general. Furthermore, positive sentiments may not be directly related to the e-procurement system. Research limitations/implications – The study offers important insights that government bodies in similar contexts can apply to guide initiatives for transforming procurement operations. For instance, training should emphasize not only the technical aspects of the system from the perspective of different stakeholders but also their job descriptions. Future research may examine other initiatives in developing countries to compare the role of sentiments over time. Originality/value – The study adopts a unique approach to understand the experience of a developing country in harnessing ICTs to transform procurement operations.
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