The National Assembly on Thursday approved $3.4 billion for holding of elections.
A significant portion of that money could spell opportunities for contractors and others to cash in.
It would spell a different time from pre-2015 when procurement at the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) was largely shrouded in secrecy. Questions had been raised about hundreds of millions of dollars in purchases, including pliers, batteries, radio sets and printing cartridges.
The Auditor General had completed a probe on the spending of GECOM but there has not been any clear word that any investigations were launched by the police despite the absence of evidence that proper procurement procedures were followed in many of the contracts.
With elections coming up sharply, and not necessarily dependent on the looming ruling of the Caribbean Court of Justice, this time round, suppliers and other service providers will have a chance.
That is because all eyes will be on GECOM.
According to capital sum of $182M, GECOM will require three double cabs pickups for Regions One, Four and Eight and is willing to spend $13.3M for each. It also wants two all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and is willing to pay up to $8M.
There will also be need for boats and engines, office desks, and folding tables for which $21M has been allocated.
GECOM also is upgrading its ID card document issuing system and is willing to spend another $75M.
There will be another $24M available for the supply of 20 tents.
Also required for 2019, according to the section of Field Materials and Supplies, as submitted by GECOM, there will be need for 25 raincoats, 2,500 finger printing kits, battery charger for printers, umbrellas.
For these supplies, the big ticket one will be the finger printing kits -2,500 costing $10,000 each- a total of $25M has been allocated for this cost alone.
For the procurement of forms for house-to-house, GECOM is willing to spend $34.6M.
A contract alone for teslin and laminate for ID cards – 18,000 cards can be worth up to $14.4M.
For grease and fuel for GECOM’s vehicles during the claims and objections period, an amount of $18M has been set aside.
GECOM said that for the conduct of the Claims and Objections exercise, including registration, verification and public hearings, it is spending up to $45M. It explained in asking the National Assembly for the money that officials will have to travel to conduct hearings.
It said that expenses will be incurred and all persons will have to be reimbursed. This will go on for about two months.
During the claims and objections period GECOM said it will spend up to $37M for hiring vehicles to safely move registration materials to and from the main offices.
Another $15M has been set aside for aircraft charters for Regions One, Seven, Eight and Nine.
Additionally, $24M will be used to hire boats.
Another $19M has been set aside also for the purchase of 120 cell phones along with activation cost and for used by 300 cluster offices and 1,200 team leaders for three months.
GECOM also said it will be paying up to $673M to temporary staffers for three months.
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