The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Sub-Committee, which was set up since last year to appoint the new Public Procurement Commission (PPC), is expected to meet on Wednesday where they will seek to finalise the appointment of this important body.
During the first meeting of the PAC for the year today, there was criticism from the Opposition members over the length of time it was taking the Sub-committee to meet and finalise the members of the Commission.
A suggestion was even made by member Ganesh Mahipaul that if the Sub-Committee cannot complete its work by next week, then the list of names be brought to the full house.
However, PAC member Juan Edghill cautioned against ultimatums being issued and urged that the Sub-Committee be allowed to follow due process.
Meanwhile, Governance Minister Gail Teixeira explained that as the matter stands, there are eight nominees in total.
However, she noted that the Opposition has not confirmed who are its final two nominees for the PPC shortlist.
“At our last meeting in December, we looked at a number of names. We also kept an opening, a flexibility to do with an approach which we said we would go back and discuss with our principals. At no point did you indicate what were the persons that your party, your Opposition was in support of. And we agreed to meet again. There was no further communication with us from that meeting, except exchange Christmas greetings and that was it.”
“At Wednesday’s meeting, if the Opposition is ready with their two names and we’re ready with our three names then we can proceed. If we’re still in the process of making decisions and getting guidance, then we’ll have to keep meeting… there have been names proposed but no one has indicated which of the two and which of the three, either sides are in support of,” Teixeira posited.
The PPC has the vital role of overseeing contract approvals and mediating contractor complaints.
The PAC is responsible for approving members of this Commission, as well as requesting background checks on candidates.
The life of the five-member Commission ended since in October of 2020.