Gov’t vows tough action in review of procurement system

The People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Government is undertaking a thorough review of the procurement system across all levels of government.

This is according to PPP General Secretary Dr Bharrat Jagdeo in response to ongoing concerns and allegations of corruption within government operations.

General Secretary of the Peoples Progressive Party (PPP), Dr Bharrat Jagdeo

Speaking during a news conference held at Freedom House on Robb Street on Thursday, Dr Jagdeo addressed the issue head-on.

“Let me put on notice all of those people who are responsible for procurement in public corporations, statutory bodies, the Ministries, Regions…everywhere…all the way up to the National Tender Board. We are examining the procurement procedures for compliance with the laws,” he stated.

Dr Jagdeo warned of strict consequences for those found violating procurement laws.

“If we find that those officers are skirting the provisions of the procurement law, then there shall be consequences for them. Too often we hear complaints that in some parts of the country, somebody is doing something wrong,” he emphasized.

The General Secretary also highlighted issues regarding payment delays for completed work.

He criticised some accounting officers for unnecessary delays in processing payments, forcing contractors to make repeated visits for their due compensation.

“Let me put on notice those people too,” he warned, adding that the government would conduct sting operations to catch offenders. “If you are engaged in these processes and you get caught, don’t come and complain about it after…if you get caught you will face the consequences,” he said.

Dr Jagdeo reiterated the government’s commitment to strengthening systems to enhance transparency and accountability.

Guyana operates under a robust anti-corruption framework, having ratified and committed to several international conventions:

  • Inter-American Convention against Corruption (IACAC): Ratified on February 15, 2001.
  • United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC): Acceded on April 16, 2008, and in force from May 16, 2008.
  • Lima Commitment: Adopted in April 2018.
  • UNGASS Political Declaration on Corruption: Committed in June 2021.
  • CELAC Working Group on Preventing and Combating Corruption: Established in 2021.

Guyana adheres to reporting under two major anti-corruption conventions:

  • IACAC under the Organisation of American States (OAS): The first global multilateral anti-corruption treaty, with the Follow-up Mechanism (MESICIC) monitoring implementation.
  • UNCAC: The only legally binding universal anti-corruption instrument. Guyana has completed two reporting cycles: Cycle 1 (2010-2015) covering criminalization, law enforcement, and international cooperation; and Cycle 2 (2015-2020) covering preventive measures and asset recovery.

Further, led by the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance, the local National Coordinating Committee on Anti-Corruption, comprising a cross-section of government agencies, ensures compliance with international reporting obligations, capacity building, and inter-agency synergy.

The NCC meets monthly, with representation from 16 agencies.

The PPP/C Government’s latest initiative underscores its ongoing commitment to fighting corruption and ensuring a transparent procurement process across all governmental levels.