Government purchasing systems are being unified by decree

President Laura Chinchilla has designed Mer-link as the preferred online purchasing system for government agencies. The existing Compra Red will be merged, said Casa Presidencial.

Mer-link has been touted as a highly transparent system for making purchases. All the requests for bids and the specifications are placed online. Those who have businesses may receive an email that an offer for bids exists.

Once the contract is awarded, the results also are displayed online.

Vendors who seek to become part of the system have to submit documents showing that they have no hidden owners or links to government officials.

Casa Presidencial said that Mer-link already has made 2,000 transactions for a $76.3 million.

Any other purchasing systems that exist in the governmental bureaucracy also will be merged, said the announcement. The president took the action by decree. The decree said that only Mer-link will exist by the second half of the year. The Ministerio de Hacienda supervises Mer-link.

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