Questionable $100M radio set purchases: GECOM declines to comment until Audit ends

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BY MICHAEL YOUNGE

The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) has declined to shed light on the circumstances which influenced its apparent questionable purchase of over two dozen multi-million dollar radio sets above the prevailing market price shortly before the May 11, 2015 Regional and General Elections.

The high-end radio sets were allegedly purchased for close to $100M. INews understands that the some of the sets bought by GECOM from Mobile Authority, a Water Street-based company were available for $300, 000 each on the local market but were allegedly purchased for close to $1.7M.

gecomGECOM’s Public Relations Officer Tamara Rodney, when contacted on Tuesday, said that the entity has taken a decision to await the findings of the ongoing audit before responding to queries of media houses.

“The audit is still ongoing. I have spoken with the Chief Elections Officer and a decision has been taken to offer no comment at this time until the process is completed”, she advised.

She could not say how long the probe by the Auditor General’s Office would last but advised that audit officials were still inspecting the GECOM bond at Coldingen, East Coast Demerara.

Meanwhile, GECOM Commissioner Sase Gunraj told Inews that the Commission has not had the opportunity to discuss the matter as there has been no scheduled meeting since the revelations in the press in relation to the radio sets.

He said that it is unlikely that the matter will be discussed soon by the Commissioners as the Chairman who is tasked with calling meetings is on leave.

Gunraj did explain that he was not privy or part of any discussions in relation to the purchase of the radio sets in the question and could not furnish the media with any explanations.

“I was not part of any discussions”, iterated before expressing confidence that the matter could be brought to the fore when an opportunity arises.

Checks so far by auditors at the bond have reportedly revealed that many of the multi-million dollar Barret and ICOM radio sets were not utilised during the last elections even though they were procured.

Investigations are also being conducted into the credentials of the company whose principal was named as Michael Brasse.

 

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