The one about ‘economies of scale’ is a new one, a good one. Except that it is upside down, for it sounds more accurately like diseconomies of scale.
But where do these justifiers and defenders of the sleazy come up with these unconvincing things? And what about that audit report leaked all over the place, other than to the head of the entity scrutinised. That is not a leak, it is a well-timed flushing of the Guyanese septic tank.
The textbooks say that buy in bulk and usually sellers offer a discount. After all, the business is wished to be retained in-house. In other words, buy more, pay less, which is what applies in general terms. What is not so common, not at all, is that when lower amounts are purchased that the price rises to multiples of the larger big-ticket quantities.
To be sure, there is a differential, but not several hundred percent more, or in instances involving two items ordered as much as sixteen times the lower bulk price (KN, January 11). Somebody played some games over there in East Berbice and succeeded in pulling a fast one. Now they are endeavouring vainly to pull the wool over the eyes of the unsuspecting and trusting.
The first clue that something is amiss, and does not add up, is when the usual ordering protocol through the Materials Management Unit (MMU) was bypassed, and remains unsettlingly unanswered. The second indicator is the many multiples of the original lower price. There can be-and should be-allowance for an increase in price for smaller amounts ordered, but not to the tremendous and glaring extent revealed.
It is just too high, and too much, way too much to accept as bona fide. And the third piece of self-incriminating development is when some intellect steps forward to palaver about ‘economies of scale.’ Obviously, somebody went to the wrong school, entered the wrong class. Now there is dirty water, hot water, spilled all over.
Then there was the audit report, which can also be described, rather accurately, as spilled all over the place, without the GRA principal knowing anything and left to lament publicly at what he must be wondering this land is all about.
This is the same Audit Office that has earned a reputation of not seeing anything, not knowing anything, and not finding anything. Now it has come to life in a manner that should only be labeled as scandalous. One would expect, if not demand, a level of professionalism, the high, mandatory ethics associated with that calling, and the pride that comes from an unbiased department.
Clearly, little if any of these ingredients are present, when the media is privy upfront to findings, the public knows more than it needs to know, and what could only be termed calculated and strategic leaks, now turned into a flood, become the order of operations.
At least, as is the now undeniable case in this instance somebody should be made to answer for this weakness and pilloried publicly. It should start with the head of that statutory agency and go right down the chain to the actual source, with penalties applied.
Things may not have been so untoward and unacceptable, if the Commissioner General of the GRA was in the loop. He is due that professional courtesy and the opportunity for what usually is part of standard and practice.
Now all that is breached, and egg is spilled on face and shirt and tie, not so much at Mr. Statia, but over in the Audit Office, through its management apparatus. Something did not work, or somebody went off half-cocked.
That is dangerous, and especially around elections time. One has to wonder, whether the leaks were not part of a larger canvas of ulterior motives.
It goes without saying that such will be denied vigorously, but most likely unpersuasively. Still, some damage has been inflicted, and there ought to be a price extracted from those responsible.
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