President reviewing BOI report on procurement malpractices

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…action will be taken in due course– Trotman

A Board of Inquiry (BOI) that was set up to probe allegations of mismanagement and malpractices within the procurement process of pharmaceuticals at the Ministry of Public Health is currently being reviewed by President David Granger.

Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman

Some two weeks after receiving the report, which recommended among other things that several senior officials at the Public Health Ministry including Permanent Secretary Trevor Thomas be removed or fired, Government is yet to take action.

However, Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman on Thursday assured that action will be taken in due course, explaining that the report is currently before President Granger.

“The president is studying the recommendations and findings of that report and I’m certain, will act accordingly in due course.”

The BoI, led by retired Assistant Commissioner of Police Winston Cosbert, from its three weeks probe made some 21 recommendations, which it said aims “to increase transparency and improve efficiency and effectiveness in the procurement of pharmaceuticals,” at the Public Health Ministry.

The probe was triggered by allegations of staffers of the Public Health Ministry passing inside information to bidders seeking lucrative drug procurement contracts.

Apart from recommendations for several top officials from the ministry be removed or fired, the BoI also recommended that a criminal investigation be launched against Caribbean Medical Supplies Inc. with a view of instituting criminal charges.

The Parika-based pharmaceutical company had come under criticisms last year for being a “fly by night” company awarded hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts from the Public Health Ministry.

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