The People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Chief Whip, Gail Teixeira, is claiming that corruption and scandals are rapidly escalating under the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition Government.
In just a span of 16 months, Teixeira stated, corruption and scandals are more than the present Government had accused the PPP Administration of committing. She stated that the Opposition has been keeping track of the scandals arising and Government’s consistent denial of them. She highlighted that to date, there are over 20 scandals in the Administration, and the incidents are rising every month.
“From June 10, 2015 to August 8, 2016, in a matter of 14 months under the APNU/AFC coalition Government, we have discovered 16 scandals – an average of a scandal for each month,” she said, noting that within the month of August alone, three scandals were exposed.
“This Government has been exposed with the most scandals and corruption in just 16 months than the PPP/C Administration was accused of in 23 years,” she said.
Teixeira emphasised that months have passed and the nation is yet to know the cost of the inauguration ceremony. Other reported scandals, she noted, included the non-payment of persons under the HEYS project; the Specialty Hospital fiasco; the massive salary increases for Ministers; and the cost of the Durban Park project, which she said the Government has refused to provide information on the private company that was involved in the project prior to the Public Infrastructure Ministry taking over the project.
The Member of Parliament stated that Government has to provide answers to the nation on the two fuel scandals that unravelled in April and in August.
“Two fuel scandals relating to the issuance of fuel licences for the importation of fuel to companies that are made up of persons related to top officials or who are top officials in the Government who have no fuel bonds, no storage facilities and no offices,” she said, adding that the withdrawal of the fuel importation licence of the Chinese company which has invested millions of US dollars for storage facilities “appears to have been calculated to make room for these alternative importers.”
Teixeira noted that an applicant for a fuel licence has to acquire an Environmental Impact Assessment and four additional licenses – provision of a bond under detailed specifications, transportation, storage, importation, premises, restrictions where storage can be located.
“It normally takes a long time for an applicant to obtain all those licences –which is impossible to do in nine months,” she argued, highlighting that the licences were issued within the month to a Government official.
She also stated that there is consistent and frequent violation of the Procurement Act by Government.
Highlighting that $240 million was spent on the refurbishing of the Kitty Municipal Market, Teixeira stated that there is no scope of work or estimates that are available.
“… and the project was not put to tender as the city has hired the workers and is implementing the works itself,” she added.
She also stated that the awarding of the contract for boxed juices for the school feeding programme to a Suriname beverage company owned by RUDISA, that was neither the lowest nor the second lowest bidder, is questionable, since the impact on the local farmers and manufacturers will be felt.
“DDL has come out publicly to criticise this, so too has another company Guyana beverages,” she argued.
These scandals, she said, which have been uncovered expose a level of corruption and discrimination that has not been seen since the Burnham era.