Harmon unfit to lecture anyone about proper procurement procedures – Jagdeo

Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo (L) and Minister of State, Joseph Harmon
Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo (L) and Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon

Vice President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo, on Friday, waded in to Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon, saying that he (Harmon) is unfit to lecture the current Peoples Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) administration or anyone, about proper procurement procedures.

“Harmon can’t testify to anything that is proper and legal,” Jagdeo asserted during a press conference today.

Jagdeo reminded that Harmon was a member of NICIL Board when that agency transferred “hundreds of acres of lands, worth billions of dollars”, to certain persons under questionable circumstances.

“So he now wants to give testimony as to who should be on the Tender Board and who should not, when they just destroyed an entire system of procurement.”

Harmon, during a virtual press conference earlier on Friday, sought to criticise the current Government for the changes made to Tender Board and more particularly the public procurement process.

However, Jagdeo maintained that under the previous APNU/AFC administration, several laws governing the public procurement procedures were breached.

He cited for example, that the APNU/AFC had stopped putting up the awards on the procurement website, which, he said, is a requirement of the law. He also noted that the APNU/AFC Government had raised the limits to Ministerial Tender Boards.

The Vice President further claimed that billions of dollars worth of contracts were given out over the five-year period; even in 2019 when they (APNU/AFC) did not have the authority to do so.

“Contrary to the law, they awarded contracts, billions of dollars, that led to massive rollovers into 2020, illegally so,” Jagdeo claimed.

He also referred to Coalition supporter Ulita Moore being awarded contracts in some of the Ministries, allegedly, without going through any tendering system.

Jagdeo further highlighted that under the PPP/C, a law was passed that prohibits Cabinet from awarding contracts. Under this law, he said, Cabinet only has a no-objection role, “but they (APNU/AFC) reversed that and started awarding contracts, contrary to the law”.