Financial Secretary Office News

Financial Secretary Office News

Press Release: E-Government Procurement Portal

Cook Islands Government is working with ADB to develop a new E-Government Procurement portal for the Cook Islands. The system will improve transparency and access to Government Contracts for supply and works for suppliers both in the Cook Islands and wider into other Pacific Island Countries. The Portal is now live, albeit that we are still testing its capabilities and features, and is being developed in Cook Islands, Samoa, Tuvalu, Tonga and Vanuatu as well as being open development in other Pacific Island countries.

At this stage there are no plans to move 100% onto the Portal and so suppliers will still be free to submit bids manually or to our current electronic tender account via email, but we invite local suppliers and contractors to register in the system as soon as possible to take advantage of the benefits of the Portal. The benefits are:

  • Secure electronic expressions of interest, communication, and submission of tenders
  • Automatic notification of any request for supply and works tenders, and quotes, for any projects that are relevant to your business
  • Expansion of services you provide across the Pacific

The link for the supplier portal is:

For further information contact Russell Hynd on phone 29511 ext. 8307 or email

26 August 2016

Press Release: Import Entry Fees Explained

From 1 July 2016 it was necessary for Customs to start charging for the import entry processing service it provides.  As explained to importers and Customs agents prior to the fee introduction, an electronic import entry processing fee of $10 plus VAT applies for all goods entered and cleared online.  Manual import entry clearances will incur a $20 plus VAT transaction fee.  Obvious price differences are to encourage importers towards using the automated goods entry system as it is more cost efficient for both importers and Customs as administrators.

The fee is being used to partly cover the cost of maintenance of the goods entry processing system which has proved hugely successful for importers reducing the clearance times for their import entries.  Prior to the introduction of the automated goods entry system clearance times for goods entries averaged 145 hours for sea freight and 27 hours average for air freight.  According to a Time Release Study conducted here last year by New Zealand Customs after the automated goods entry system was implemented, the clearance times are down to 25 hours average for sea cargo, and 13 hours for air cargo.

In response to the recent Cook Islands News article concerning the fee, Customs would like to point out that the automated system can be used by individual importers, as well as brokers, at reduced costs.  Importers still have the option to file manual entries, incurring higher fees, as well as using a Customs broker and incurring their fees, but these decisions are optional.  If any importer is concerned about costs, they may wish to try using the automated system, which is proven to be quicker, and will reduce costs.  If importers would like to start using the automated goods entry system or hear more about it, please feel free to contact Senior Customs Officer, Walter Tangata on telephone 29365, or via email

23 August 2016

Media Release: Cook Islands NIE Accreditation

The Adaptation Fund accredited the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management (MFEM) as a National Implementing Entity (NIE) for the Cook Islands on 14 July 2016.

MFEM is the second NIE to be successfully accredited through the Fund’s new streamlined accreditation process for smaller implementing entities, which was adopted in 2014 and was also used to accredit the Micronesia Conservation Trust in April of 2015. As such, MFEM is also the second pacific island to be accredited to the Fund, representing a major achievement within the Pacific Region.

MFEM’s application to the Fund was formally submitted in December 2014 and the road to achieving this significant milestone has been an invaluable journey. MFEM would therefore like to thank the National Steering Group, our partners under the European Union Global Climate Change Alliance and the United Nations Environment Programme. The accreditation process has provided an opportunity in strengthening the national systems and capabilities of the public service to ensure development partners maintain their confidence in our national systems. We have acknowledged the challenges we face but the accreditation to the Fund is definitely worth the pursuit in the Cook Islands forward journey into becoming a stronger resilient country.

Direct access to climate finance will ensure the Cook Islands are able to access domestically and international additional sources of climate finance to carrying out climate adaptation activities and projects. In 2012 the Adaptation Fund approved US $5.3 million overseen by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to support the implementation of Strengthening the Resilience of our Islands and our Communities to Climate Change (SRIC). This project is being managed by Climate Change Cook Islands (CCCI), Office of the Prime Minister. This programme’s objective is to strengthen the ability of Pa Enua, and all Cook Island communities, to make informed decisions and manage anticipated climate change driven pressures in a proactive, integrated and strategic manner.

18 July 2016