— invites citizens with pertinent info to make written submissions by April 12
The Public Procurement Commission has launched an investigation into the purchase of drugs and
other medical supplies by the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC).
The probe comes in wake of recent statements in the media about the procurement of pharmaceuticals for the Public Health sector. The body also stated that the investigation is in keeping with its functions as detailed in Article 212(AA) (1) of the Constitution.
The Commission said that it is in the process of collecting and reviewing relevant information from various stakeholders within the national procurement system and will conduct interviews and examine documentation as deemed necessary.
The Procurement body said that it is committed to a completely transparent and objective investigation, and invites members of the public who may have pertinent information to make written submissions to Chairperson Carol Corbin, at Parliament Buildings, by April 12.
Since the subject of this investigation is of national interest and has resulted in significant public concern, the Public Procurement Commission said that it will submit its findings to the National Assembly.
Furthermore, the issue of the procurement of drugs for the health sector has been taken to the level of Parliament through the political opposition.
In this regard, the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has posed a number of questions to Public Health Minister, Volda Lawrence. Lawrence is expected to provide a written reply to the questions.
Opposition Member Juan Edghill is calling on Lawrence to provide information regarding the total sum expended for drugs and medical supplies for the Ministry of Public Health between January 1, 2016 and February 28, 2017.
Edghill asked Lawrence to state what percentage of the 2016 budgetary allocations for drugs and medical supplies was expended by December 31, 2016; if any monies were unspent and returned to the Consolidated Fund, and how much was returned. He is also asking Lawrence to state what the reasons were for the underperformance in the procurement of drugs and medical supplies for the public health system.
The former Junior Finance Minister also wants the Public Health Minister to tell the National Assembly, the name of each supplier; the value of each contract and date of award; the name of the supplier/s which failed to deliver within the stipulated contractual period and by what amount; and the name of the suppliers which delivered inferior/substandard drugs and medical supplies.
Lawrence is also expected to state in each case of procurement: whether these tenders were publically advertised; if so when and where and, if any of these awardees were pre-qualified.
But that is not all. In each case of the above, the Opposition wants Lawrence to tell the nation which body of the Ministry of Public Health was responsible for evaluating and recommending the award of these contracts.
Furthermore, Edghill wants Lawrence to tell the nation the number and names of any contracted suppliers which delivered drugs and medical supplies that were expired, were close to expiry date, and/or, of an inferior quality, between January 1, 2016 and February 28, 2017.
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