…calls for Procurement Commission to assume its role and function
The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) in a strongly worded missive has outlined that while the David Granger lead Administration has remained ambiguous in providing the exact amount that was expended in establishing the now ‘scandalous’ Durban Park project- With conservative estimates form independent professionals placing it in the realm of over $1 billion- it was observed that more works are being conducted on the facility.
See the party’s full statement below:
The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) wishes to note that the Durban Park fiasco seemed to be a never-ending scandal. To date, the Government has persistently refused to disclose the real cost of this project. Despite all the scandals and suspicions which permeated this project from the inception, the Government has failed to hold any form of inquiry or investigation in relation to it.
The PPP is aware that there are dozens of contractors who have not been paid for works done and for materials supplied to that project. The Party is also aware that the names of contractors which were read out by Minister David Patterson in the National Assembly as creditors of this project were false and misleading.
It was drawn to our attention that the names of several persons, who are actually owed money, were never called by Minister Patterson and persons whose names were mentioned by him are not owed.
The nation is unaware of the current status of the private company which Minister of Education, Dr Rupert Roopnarine, and other cohorts of APNU incorporated, own and operated at the project site. We were subsequently told that this company spent hundreds of millions of State funds and attracted hundreds of millions of liabilities which tax-payers’ monies were used to pay off. Indeed millions are still owed by this company.
President David Granger himself admitted that he was aware of this misuse and abuse of public funds.
The PPP has observed that they are works currently ongoing at the site. Again, no public tendering was done. The nation remains unaware as to who is executing this work, what is the value of the work being done and from where the finances have been sourced.
The PPP reiterates what it stated before; the level of unaccountability that has overwhelmed this project is criminal.
The PPP also wishes to express its deep disappointment at the omission of the Public Procurement Commission to assume its constitutional mandate and discharge its statutory functions although its members have been appointed several months now. The Party is aware that Cabinet continues to preside over and unlawfully interfere with the award of contracts.
The Procurement Act provides that once the PPC is established, Cabinet’s no-objection role in the award of contract ceases. The Party is aware that the said Act allows Cabinet to conclude the consideration of contracts that were pending before the PPC was appointed. That period has long expired.
The PPC is therefore obliged to assert itself and assume its role and functions. The PPP calls upon the Commission to do so immediately.