For the second time this month the New Guyana Pharmaceutical Corporation has moved to the High Court seeking redress in response to a letter carried in this newspaper.
National Media and Publishing Company Limited and Emile Mervin have since been summoned to appear before Justice Dawn Gregory next week Tuesday.
The New GPC Inc. which is owned by Queen Atlantic Investment Incorporated secured an injunction restraining this newspaper from reprinting the words printed as it relates to the Emile Mervin letter.
That letter spoke to the manner in which drugs were procured and supplied to the Ministry of Health and the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation prior to a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that was signed with QAII and Go Invest.
That MoU was signed between Dr Ranjisinghi “Bobby” Ramroop the Chairman of QAII and Geoffrey Da Silva for Chief Executive Officer for the Guyana Office for Investment in March 2008.
That MoU does not incorporate GPC. It is between Queens Atlantic Investment, a group of companies Guyana textiles, Health Care Life Sciences, Global Printing and Graphics, Health International and Global Hardware and the Guyana Government.
But GPC has been supplying pharmaceuticals for the Ministry and Health and the Georgetown Public Hospital, according to Health Minister Dr Leslie Ramsammy.
The original investment in GPC was $460M for a 60 per cent stake in the company by Queens Atlantic Investment Inc. and an additional 30 per cent was acquired for $200M.
The Health Minister, Dr Leslie Ramsammy, in 2008, had cause to defend drug purchases from New GPC after the Auditor General had questioned the single sourcing methods.
Opposition MPs had questioned the government continuing to allow NGPC to benefit from a Cabinet decision that precludes it from going to tender for the provision of drugs to the Ministry of Health.
The issue was raised by opposition Members of Parliament during a sitting of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).
Dr Ramsammy at that time stated that his Ministry’s procurement of drugs and medical supplies [is] in compliance with Cabinet’s decision and in accordance with all laws and regulations.”
He said his Ministry’s procurement arrangements have been “rigidly scrutinised since 1992”.
He added, “By and large” the Auditor General (AG) has been able to show compliance by the Ministry of Health to procurement laws and rules.
“The Auditor General did not question the legality or appropriateness of the waiver arrangement granted by Cabinet Decision in 1997 and in 2003.”
He acknowledged that the AG’s report did recommend that the two waiver decisions be renewed.
The Auditor General’s report for 2004 had made a recommendation that the Ministry advertise internationally every three years for the supply of drugs and medical supplies and pre-qualify suppliers.
That report also said that given the time period that would have elapsed “it would appear necessary for the present arrangements for the supply of drugs and medical supplies from overseas to be reviewed”.
The following year’s report said that in relation to purchases exceeding $600,000, there were 21 purchases valued at $174.914 million made from specialised agencies overseas on an approval, which had been granted by Cabinet in 1997.
It was recommended that the Ministry advertise in at least one publication of wide international circulation for the supply of drugs and medical supplies.
Alliance For Change (AFC) Parliamentarian, David Patterson, is also on record saying that, “Government via a Cabinet decision made in 1997 – instructed the Minister of Health to make all local purchases from New GPC, so for 11 years there has been no public tendering for drugs to be supplied to this Ministry, this contravenes the public procurement act.”
Patterson said that in 2005 the contract was worth approximately $600 million.
The statements were also made in the context of NGPC being one of the subsidiaries of QAII which saw several of its new planned investments being controversially granted tax concessions recently.
Dr Ramsammy had subsequently said that the waiver aimed at NGPC came into play in 2003 and that was not time-bound since Cabinet had made the decision after he made a request in order to improve procurement and supplies to the health sector
Feb 24, 2020The Guyana Football Federation conducted a two-day Introductory Coaching training at Port Kaituma Community Centre, targeting 11 coaches and prospective coaches from the Matarkai sub-Region...
Feb 24, 2020
Feb 24, 2020
Feb 24, 2020
Feb 24, 2020
Feb 24, 2020
Editor’s Note, If your sent letter was not published and you felt its contents were valid and devoid of libel or personal attacks, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]