Jun 21, 2016 News
Following the controversial allocation of a contract to implement parking meters to two companies
without public tender, People’s Progressive Party (PPP) General Secretary, Clement Rohee, is warning the administration not to go down the same road as the PPP.
He said this during the party’s weekly press conference yesterday. When reminded, however, of the party’s track record in public procurement–notably the drug contracts which New Guyana Pharmaceutical Company (GPC) received without tenders- he made it clear that the PPP can still criticize the Government.
“Yea, well, that (accusation) may have been leveled against us, but that’s the previous administration. But now they are in the Government and they have to face the music if they do it as well. That’s the nature of politics.”
“If you criticize the then administration, for not doing what you felt should have been done, and then now you get into government you doing the same which you had criticized the previous government on, then obviously it behooves the now opposition to criticize you for double standards.”
“You said you would not have done it, were you in the government. But you continue to do it now that you are in the government. Therefore we are not going to close our eyes; we are going to be similarly critical.”
Saying that the party has been warning the current administration about going down the road of sole sourcing, Rohee stated that the contract should return to tendering. He described it as a case where the administration appears to be going full speed ahead on matters, oblivious to public opinion.
“They feel that they have got it all right and that they have all the answers. They are not listening to anyone. And the only time they listen is when they come under enormous pressure and scandals hit them in their face.”
Questions have been raised over the role of sole sourcing in Guyana. There are laws and regulations which mandate that before a government contract can be given to a private company, it must be put through a public tender process.
A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance for Change (APNU/AFC), while in opposition, had been highly critical of the arrangement between the PPP administration and New GPC, which was able to secure multi-billion dollar contracts to supply drugs for the health care system.
New GPC is owned by Dr. Ranjisingh ‘Bobby’ Ramroop, a friend of former President Bharrat Jagdeo. This newspaper had reported that the former administration had given out contracts for the procurement of drugs worth some US$12.8 million ($2,677,864,510) to New GPC.
Three Cabinet Minutes were leaked and reproduced in the electronic media. The document showed that Cabinet approved its most expensive contract for $6,730,526 dated April 23, 2015. It was signed by former Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Roger Luncheon.
New GPC had featured in the Auditor General’s report over the years with several instances focused on multi-million-dollar deficiencies in the procurement and supply of drugs under the previous administration.
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