Dec 24, 2013 News
The Financial Spokesman of A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) Carl Greenidge has warned that the Procurement Amendment Bill will suffer the same fate if the government does not bring a different draft.
However, the Government’s Chief Whip, Gail Teixeira, had made it clear that there are no guarantees where the different draft is concerned.
There have been several compelling arguments put forward by both Government and the opposition over the contentious Public Procurement Amendment Bill. However, one thing remains a seemingly insurmountable hurdle: “the no objection clause.”
It caused a heated six-hour debate on the second reading of the Bill at the last sitting of the National Assembly on Thursday last. It then led to a deferral but with conditions.
The two conditions are that the six-month deferral does not disturb in any way, the current work being done by the Public Accounts Committee and that the government returns with a different draft.
Both sides had however agreed that the period should be used for further discussions on the Bill.
Minister of Tourism, Irfaan Ali had elaborated on Guyana’s position versus the International Financial Institutions.
He said, “A perusal of the rules from the various international financial institutions indicate that the main objective of the retention of the “No objection” clause is to ensure that proper procurement procedures have been followed and further that the beneficiary country does not alter with or modify any terms of conditions of the contract.”
“The power to review granted to Cabinet is specified with regard to its power to right to object.”
Ali asserted that the amendment should be allowed a smooth passage since “Cabinet’s power to use objection or no objection does not collide with or impair or undermine any of the functions of the public procurement commission as set out in the constitution. The power merely affords another layer of oversight by the government which has a fiduciary responsibility to perform.”
Greenidge, nevertheless, articulated that his collation is firm in its position that the government would not be given its “no-objection” clause since they currently possess the power but do not exercise it in a fair manner.
While government insists that they would not let up on their responsibility, Greenidge asserts that there continues to be complaints as it relates to the allocation of certain contracts as there continues to be several instances where contractors are awarded contracts and the circumstances are always questionable.
“In spite of the various complaints of favouritism and political racism, they have no remedies in place to stymie this problem,” the Member of Parliament contended.
However, while there seems to be much gridlock over the controversial “clause” there seems to be a place for common ground. Greenidge said, “The only place for common ground to be given would be cases where the financers or the donors or a multilateral financial institution requires no objection clauses from the government. In those cases, one would be inclined to have the no objection provision.”
“But listen. The truth is that the government does not want the commission because once it is established, it will go back to the illegal contracts and the necessary actions will be taken against them.”
He added that members of the public should understand that the deferral merely serves for the government to discuss other amendments which will be brought to the Assembly on or before the six month deadline.
“As far as we understand, the deferral was only granted because the Alliance For Change who had a discussion with the Private Sector, held a meeting or discussion with the Private Sector and as such, believed in the spirit of compromise that the government’s proposal on the deferral should be granted.
“However, APNU was prepared to reject it because we simply didn’t see the point of them coming back.
“They will have to come with something different or else it will not receive the agreement to go back on the Order paper.”
APNU member, Jaipaul Sharma, had also said that even if Government is granted its “no objection clause,” the commission once established can review the $15M threshold and increase it, thereby preventing contracts of a certain amount from going to the Cabinet for review.
Jun 20, 2021National Senior Athletics Championships Kaieteur News – Arinze Chance and Aliyah Abrams did the expected and decimated their rivals to easily win the 400m finals at Athletics Guyana (AG) Senior...
Jun 20, 2021
Jun 20, 2021
Jun 20, 2021
Jun 20, 2021
Jun 19, 2021
By Sir Ronald Sanders More commonality was shown by CARICOM countries in a vote on Tuesday June 15 at the Organisation of... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, 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]