The decision by the Ministry of Public Health to sole source $366M in drug supplies from New York-based HDM Labs Inc. has drawn criticisms from Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo.
At a press conference yesterday, Jagdeo labelled the decision by the Ministry as part of an ongoing plan to financially reward close supporters of the Coalition Government.
‘This is another payoff,” Jagdeo stated.
Speaking directly to Government supporters, Jagdeo said, “You’re not going to get any help from this government if you are poor.”
Jagdeo stated that HDM Labs Chief, Dr. Hardatt Singh, hosted campaign meetings for the Coalition in his home in the U.S. before the 2015 elections. Dr. Singh’s name had surfaced in 2016 in relations to a $400M-plus fertilizer contract with Government.
“We have pictures with him and the others. All of that will surface,” Jagdeo noted.
According to sources at the Ministry of Health, HDM Labs apparently had little or no experience in supplying pharmaceuticals to the Ministry of Health.
In fact, HDM Labs beat out a number of experienced suppliers- Ansa McAl Limited, International Pharmaceutical Agency, Global Healthcare Supplies Inc., Caribbean Medical Supplies and Meditron Inc.
From indications, the contract was hurried through in a matter of days.
Under the rules, sole sourcing must meet the criteria that the items are emergency in nature and that only that one company has the possibility of supplying the items.
According to Jagdeo, there is double corruption in the award of the contract. He noted that the Government did not go to open tender.
Jagdeo, while in Government had faced similar criticisms for sole-sourced contracts, which were issued to the New Guyana Pharmaceutical Corporation (New GPC), which is run by his friend, Dr. Ranjisingh ‘Bobby’ Ramroop.
According to Jagdeo, in every case they had a competitive process to pre-qualify the people that were shortlisted.
“They came up with a list of their own; shortlisted them without any competitive process to get there and that is critical if you have a competitive process…Even the people that they shortlisted, they shafted them too,” Jagdeo noted.
The Opposition Leader said that one of the persons shortlisted has ‘an old house with a broken down fence over the river’ as his place of business.
In listing the payments made to Coalition supporters, Jagdeo pointed to Larry Singh, who benefitted from the contract through the Ministry of Public Health for the controversial drug bond.
It was recently revealed that Government has already paid $265M to rent the bond, which Singh purchased for $25M.
Speaking directly to APNU supporters, Jagdeo said, “You’re not going to get any help from this government if you are poor.”
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