Jul 14, 2016 News
Leader of the Opposition, Bharrat Jagdeo, has countered statements that Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, made last week about making Government contracts public.
Jagdeo said that the contracts to which Harmon referred do not contain any confidentiality clause.
Harmon had said that the contracts which the PPP/C government signed during its time in office have within them confidentiality clauses, which prevent the current administration from disclosing the contents of the agreements.
Yesterday, in a press conference at Freedom House, Jagdeo made it clear that he has been calling for the government to publish both the evaluation reports for several projects and contracts which the government had deemed to be corrupt.
Jagdeo considers it “absolute nonsense” that the Minister of State would inform the public that the PPP/C had included confidentiality clauses in government contracts.
“I have never seen a more inexcusable excuse for lack of transparency…The evaluation reports don’t have any confidentiality clause; this is the property of the government and people of Guyana.”
Jagdeo said that normally there is a confidentiality clause in the process of negotiating during the pre-contract stage. According to him, this is a standard business practice around the world and is done so as to protect information of the other party.
Jagdeo went on to say “Once the contract is signed then these are agreements and are property of government.”
The Opposition Leader is of the view that the government is reluctant to release the details of the contracts because it will show that what they were labelling the contracts to be is far from the truth.
Jagdeo believes that if the evaluation report for the Specialty Hospital is published it would vindicate his party and show that Fedders Lloyd was disqualified for good reasons and is not the second ranked bidder which the government reported it to be.
Fedders Lloyd is the Indian Firm which had been contracted to construct the Specialty Hospital in Guyana.
Jagdeo wants the government to publish evaluation reports and contracts for the Specialty Hospital, the Road to Amaila Falls, the pre-qualification for drugs from the New Guyana Pharmaceutical Corporation (GPC) and the Marriott Hotel.
“The evaluation reports will show that in each of these cases we had gone through competitive tendering processes.” According to Jagdeo there is a provision for government contracts to be tabled in Parliament. He said that there is absolutely no state secret in the contracts, inclusive of the Bai Shan Lin agreement.
In an interview with Kaieteur News, Harmon had said that if the government is to go ahead and make these contracts public, it will leave the government open to court action. According to him, the contracts have privacy clauses and neither party is allowed to disclose the details of the agreement.
President David Granger had on many occasions called for the release of these controversial agreements. The Head of State believes that only contracts concerning national security and the sourcing of defence equipment should be kept a secret.
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