Cabinet involvement in matters related to the procurements shall have to cease when the Public Procurement Commission is established. The Procurement Act of Guyana stipulates the role of the Commission.
Under the current Legislation, Cabinet has the right to review all procurements that exceed $15M.
According to the legislation in force, Cabinet shall conduct its review on the basis of a streamlined tender evaluation report to be adopted by the PPC.
“The Cabinet and, upon its establishment, the Public Procurement Commission, shall review annually the Cabinet’s threshold for review of procurements, with the objective of increasing that threshold over time, so as to promote the goal of progressively phasing out Cabinet involvement and decentralising the procurement process.”
The Procurement also states that in conducting a review, Cabinet may object to the award of the procurement contract only if it determines that the procuring entity failed to comply with applicable procurement procedures.
If the Cabinet objects to an award, the matter shall be referred to the procuring entity for further review.
It is emphasised that the legislation’s clause shall not be construed as authorising the Cabinet to award a tender to any other supplier or contractor.
The president, at a recent press briefing, told media operatives that the usual differences of opinion between the government and the People’s National Congress Reform is what led to the delay in the resubmission of the administration’s nominees for the Public Procurement Commission.
President Bharrat Jagdeo said that some years ago, three nominees were submitted but there was a huge debate on the candidates and as such the process was paused.
“I expect very soon that would happen, but we had submitted three nominees and there was a huge debate and it didn’t go very far and now we have to resubmit.”
This scenario is similar to the case with the local government elections, where the two parties cannot move forward.
Recently, Chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee, Volda Lawrence, told another section of the media that the delay in submission of the names is holding up the deliberation.
The list of members of this constitutional commission was supposed to be completed since last July.
Lawrence had said that the PNCR and the Alliance For Change have already submitted their nominees to the body.
After all the nominees are submitted, the committee will use a grading method to select the most qualified for appointment to the commission. Only five persons will be on the commission.
But according to Lawrence, the administration is attempting to bypass the Constitution to ensure it has a majority on the commission.
The role of this commission includes the monitoring and reviewing of all public procurement systems. It also monitors the performance of procurement bodies. In such cases, the adherence to regulations in procuring services and the execution of works are examined.
It also has responsibility over the procedures of ministerial, regional and national procurement entities, as well as those of project execution units.
The commission also has the task of investigating complaints from contractors and public enterprises, along with suppliers and cases of irregularities. It has the authority to propose remedial action in all instances.
The Constitution stipulates that the commission should be independent, impartial and should discharge its functions fairly.
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