The SN editorial of 26 September 2016 is a barefaced attempt at historical revisionism, seeking to excuse the obvious and blatant APNU/AFC corruption involved in the award of the fruit juice contract to a foreign company which was not the lowest bidder (and the still fresh scandal involving single sourcing of an unfinished building to serve as a drug bond) by seeking to misrepresent the PPP/C’s record in office in relation to procurement and using this misrepresentation as a smokescreen. The following facts are relevant:
1. It is the PPP/C that introduced public open tendering after assuming office in 1992, following decades of non-accountability and corruption by the PNC including more than a decade of no auditor general’s reports and no public tendering whatsoever.
2. It is under the leadership of the PPP/C that the Constitution was amended to establish a Public Procurement Commission (the inescapable fact is that this Constitutional provision could not have been introduced and enacted without PPP/C support and advocacy).
3. It is the PPP/C that took to Parliament the Procurement Act and secured its passage, and that established the National Procurement and Tenders Administration
4. It is the PPP/C that introduced public opening of tenders, including attendance by the media, and public reporting of tender awards, including publication of the NPTAB minutes and awards on the NPTAB website
5. It is the APNU/AFC that has now discontinued the publication of this information on the NPTAB website, introducing a blackout on information regarding government procurement
6. It is the PNC and then APNU/AFC that chaired the Public Accounts Committee from 2001 to 2015, 15 years, and was unable to secure consensus on the names to the appointed to the Public Procurement Commission, even after they secured a parliamentary majority in 2011
7. It is under PPP/C’s chairmanship that the Public Accounts Committee was able to secure after a mere 12 months the same consensus that eluded the PNC/APNU/AFC for 15 years, and obtain a special majority of the National Assembly to approve the names of nominees to the Public Procurement Commission
8. It is the APNU/AFC President who is now dilly-dallying on appointing the nominated members of the Public Procurement Commission, at a time when his government is lurching from one procurement scandal to another (drug bond, fruit juice, city cleanup, Durban Park construction, GWI jerry cans and consultancy services, etc.);
9. It is the APNU/AFC that has just agreed to pay a legal award to the same Surinamese company under questionable circumstances, and now comes and awards the same company this juice contract under equally questionable circumstances;
10. It is the APNU/AFC government that is reeling from embarrassment following one scandal after another almost on a daily basis, and from their abject failure to deliver on any of the manifesto promises they so dishonestly made to the Guyanese people when asking for their vote in May 2015 and are now refusing to honour.
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