EYEWITNESS: Smart flies

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…and meter contracts

Your Eyewitness had wondered – and doubted whether this day would come. He figured the 3-monh suspension of the contract Government had requested, was basically to buy time and have the protestors run out of steam. And have no doubt – it’s not Bulkan who made the request, he’s just the conduit seeing as how he’s supposed to be “Communities Ministers” and all. This request came from the top.

So, when Royston King, Town Clerk, says “no can do”, you know “things na regulah”! King pointed out to the “terror clause” in the contract, he, the mayor, Councillir Garrett and Oscar signed away with Smart City Solutions while on the junket to Panama City the latter paid for. The said clause needs to be stated in full:

If the city unilaterally terminates the contract, by Article 14, it would have to “pay the concessionaire a lump sum payment equivalent to (i) the total direct and indirect, hard and soft cost cumulative gross investment of the concessionaire in the project; plus (ii) an amount equal to 25% of the direct and indirect hard and soft cost cumulative gross investment of the concessionaire in the project; multiplied by the number of years (or fraction) remaining under the term…(iii) the reasonable out of pocket and documented costs and expenses incurred by the concessionaire as a direct result of such termination.”

The ‘lump sum”,we’re told is US$10,000,000 – and you can do the maths for the final sum and you’ll know why it’s a “terror clause”. But this is what your Eyewitness and so many other folks were saying all along, no? Why would the Gang of Four, sign on the dotted line of a contract with this and other clauses that were so egregiously punitive to Georgetown? And we all know the answer, don’t we? And it’s not just the first-class tickets, hotel rooms and per diems!!

When they came back – and were confronted by Duncan and other members of the City Council – they refused to back down. The Ministry of finance was scathing in its 8-page report calling some of the provisions “ignorant” as well as ultra vires since there was no bidding for the contract as is mandated by the Regs. Even the friendlier Attorney General’s Chambers report said the provision cited by King was intended “to put the city in terror of terminating the agreement.” And so said, so done.

But yet after the above government reports, Bulkan rubber stamped the deal when he signed the necessary Bylaws.

The stinky stuff will now hit the fan…and spatter on a lot of faces!

…and rice

Turhane Doerga of Alesie Mills revolutionised the rice industry in Guyana after he exploited a loophole in Europe to bypass tariffs when shipping the grain there. Martinique and Guadeloupe, as “departments” of France,  are officially part and parcel of Europe and the tariffs don’t apply to rice from those Caribbean Islands. So Doerga established mills there, bought and shipped paddy from Guyanese farmers to be milled and shipped to Europe from the “Departments”! Voila! A new, lucrative rice market!

The price of paddy in Guyana skyrocketed and that was the beginning of the expansion of the rice industry to its present 600,000 tonne status. Europe, of course, did what they’ll always do when the third world’s making some money – shut down the arrangement through legislation. In Guyana Doerga was always regarded as a “sharp operator”.

But in business, your Eyewitness sees that as a necessary trait. Hey!! It’s a dog eat dog world, all right?

But Doerga just announced he’s closing shop here and selling his rice mills. Your Eyewitness is waiting for the other foot to fall!

…and Pharma sole sourcing

The procurement of pharma attracts more than its fair share of “smart flies”. One Minister’s been transferred – and before the ink’s dry on the new appointee’s contract, she’s in hot water!

Maybe they should have a pre-qualification process for Ministers?

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