Procurement Commission still not ready to award contracts – Harmon

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…2 months after installation

Defending Cabinet’s continued role in the awarding of contracts, Minister of State Joseph Harmon on Friday said the recently established Public Procurement Commission (PPC) is not yet ready to carry out such tasks.

Last October, President David Granger installed a five-member Commission, which he, at that time, had said was to take the brunt of work off the shoulders of Government Ministers.

Minister of State Joseph Harmon
Minister of State Joseph Harmon

However, although the Commission had settled itself in, Government continues the awarding of contracts. Asked about this on Friday, Harmon said the group has indicated that it is not in the position to begin its work.

“The Public Procurement Commission indicated that sometime in January they will be ready to execute their mandate. Right now they are not ready because there are still some critical appointments to be made in the Commission and therefore the role of granting no objections of contracts remains with Cabinet,” he told the media.

President David Granger had said the PPC is an establishment mandated by Guyana’s Constitution, which seeks to ensure the fair, equitable and transparent execution and works, and procurement of goods and services, according to law.

Guyana’s Constitution stipulates that the Commission shall consist of five members who shall have expertise and experience in procurement, legal, finance and administrative matters, and that the President shall appoint the members of the Commission; after such, members have been nominated by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and approved by not less than two-thirds of the elected members of the National Assembly.

Among the PPC’s key functions are, according to the Procurement Act, to “Monitor and review the functioning of all procurement systems to ensure that they are in accordance with law and such policy guidelines as may be determined by the National Assembly; promote awareness of the rules, procedures and special requirements of the procurement process, among suppliers, constructors and public bodies; safeguard the national interest in public procurement matters, having due regard to any international obligations; monitor the performance of procurement bodes with respect to adherence to regulations and efficiency in procuring goods and services and execution of works; approve procedures for public procurement, disseminate rules and procedures for public procurement; and recommend modifications thereto to the public procurement entities.”

President Granger installed the five-member Commission after the Alliance for Change (AFC) had called for it while sitting in the Opposition.

The members are Emily Dodson, Carla Corbin, Ivor English, Nandkishore Gopaul and Sukrishnalall Pasha.

 

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