Sep 29, 2016 Letters
Corruption has pervaded every stratum of Governments in this country, be it at the Central Government or the Local Government level. However, the focus has always been on the Central Government
Firstly, the formulation of the Region 6, 2017 proposed budget is the epitome of financial conspiracies in Region 6 and had no input from myself, the Chairman, the NDCs and other stakeholders. It was verified by the 2 DREOs that it was done solely by the Regional Vice- Chairman Dennis Deoroopand and the Regional Engineer Roopesh Singh. This is exactly how the costs of works are inflated and works which do not need much resource are given priority so that the contractors will benefit. This is where the corruption starts and then flows to the Tender Board and then to the certification of the substandard work. Furthermore, there are many instances where some of the work projects in the 2017 Proposal are in excellent condition having been done only recently. For instance, drainage canals at Gibraltar/Fyrish, Roads at 52-74 NDC, a bridge at Wellington Park, etc. This will be easy ‘pickings’ for the contractors. Therefore, the Engineer and the Regional Vice Chairman, Mr Dennis Deoroop, prepare the budget proposal and then they certify the works done. The preparation of the 2017 Budget Proposal is the mother of all conspiracies in Region 6.
Furthermore, the Regional Chairman, Dennis Deoroop, deploys NDIA machines to do the work of his cronies neglecting the majority of farmers affected in other areas. In addition, works which are supposed to be paid for by the Water Users’ Association are done by these NDIA’s machines. The question is: Are these works paid for by the Water Users’ Association when it is done free? An audit should be carried out to verify this.
From the inception I made a valiant effort to stop corrupt practices. I implemented the biometric clocking system at the Regional Office which was the brain child of the PPP/C when they were in Government and which was supported by the Chairman and the Public Service Union, yet the RDC Council moved a motion spearheaded by the Regional Vice-Chairman and his cohort to vote against that system. He was supported by the APNU, AFC and the PPP councilors.
Then I tried to stop the abuse of the Region’s resources by capping the gas expenditure expense of the Regional Vice Chairman who was using the Region’s vehicle for the political work of the PPP. He made regular trips to Georgetown and across Region 6 on PPP’s business. He again moved a motion to quash that capping of the gas expenses and received the support of APNU, AFC and PPP Councilors. In addition, why is the Regional Vice Chairman’s telephone bill and electricity bill being paid by the Region? Why is he given a full-time driver? Does Chapter 28:02 provides for this? I raised this in Georgetown and was told to continue to approve payment.
Why were the APNU and AFC Councilors supporting the PPP? These councilors saw me as a threat when I pointed to what was taking place at the hospital where major and costly works were treated as ‘emergencies’ and not tendered thereby benefiting the friends of a certain official. I also exposed the drugs shortage and the single sourcing of drugs and supplies and the atrocious conditions existing in the hospitals, especially at the New Amsterdam Hospital. The single sourcing was done without my knowledge and the only time I became cognizant of them was when the vouchers were brought for me to sign.
In addition, I questioned the huge and costly amounts of dietary supplies which were purchased on a regular basis and which never seemed to reach the patients. Millions were spent on these yet patients were suffering from shortage or poor quality of dietary items. Furthermore, I unearthed instances where items supplied has a variation in price for the same item from the same supplier. A roll of toilet paper is supplied at $2,500 per bale and the same toilet paper is priced at $4,300 from the same supplier. The Regional Officials felt that I should never have queried these things. But that is not what I fought for all these years on my program ‘Issues of the People’. The consultation to do the electrical wiring of the NA Hospital was another sole sourcing done to benefit the boys. One million dollars was paid for this ‘emergency’ work. Why was this not tendered out?
Plumbing works were also done through single sourcing with no tendering done and again I became aware of this when it was time to pay the bill. I had also exposed the cleaning of the septic tanks at the NA Hospital and the outrageous amount of monies paid. This again is the product of sole-sourcing and cronyism.
The next major conspiracy occurred at the Regional Tender Board. An individual from the AFC who received favors from the past Government became a Tender Board member and from day one he affiliated himself with the 2 PPP tender Board members to grant contracts to those whom they favored. I was against this person becoming a member of the Tender Board since I am well acquainted with his history. Thus these three persons had the majority and controlled the Tender Board and decided who should get the contracts. Then the sub-treasury came on the scene to make me look bad. The person in charge sent back over $70 million in checks. They were sent back to Central Treasury for spurious reasons, even checks for my expenses. I was being attacked on all flanks and Nagamootoo and Ramjattan offered no support
Dr V Ramayya
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