Commissioners of the Public Procurement Commission (PPC) have been raking in super salaries over the last few months, even though the body has not been inactive.
President David Granger in October last swore-in members of the much anticipated PPC, which was expected to take the brunt of the work off the shoulders of Government Ministers in the awarding of contracts.
But Cabinet still continues to grant its no-objection to the awarding of contracts because the five-member Commission has been unable to perform its duties owing to a shortage of staff.
Minister of State Joseph Harmon, during a post-Cabinet press briefing on Friday, announced that Cabinet gave its no-objection for several contracts.
When prompted, he explained that the PPC is still inactive because it is still in the process of recruiting competent employees.
“Cabinet will stop granting its no-objection when the PPC is ready to work; they have been advertising for staff for the Commission, (and) those matters are well advanced,” Harmon stated.
However, he was unable to provide a timeline for when the PPC can begin to carry out its mandate.
“Once they say to us ‘we are ready to function’, then Cabinet will cease doing anything, but since these are public infrastructural projects that need to be executed, we cannot just sit and wait,” the Minister of State posited.
“Once the PPC indicates that they are ready, then Cabinet will pull back,” he emphasised. Harmon also admitted that though the PPC has been inactive, the Commissioners have been receiving their salaries.
“From the time they were appointed, they are entitled to those salaries,” he stated.
Reports indicate that PPC Chairperson Carol Corbin is receiving $1.3 million monthly, while the other Commissioners are earning some $900,000 per month.
The other Commissioners are Nanda Gopaul, Emily Dodson, Ivor English, and Sukrishnalall Pasha.
According to the Procurement Act, the PPC is responsible for monitoring and reviewing the functions 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.
It is also required to monitor the performance of procurement bodies, with respect to adherence to regulations and efficiency in procuring goods and services and execution of works, among other functions. (Guyana Times)