PPC responds to Stabroek News allegations of evading Tepui contract scrutiny

The Public Procurement Commission (PPC) notes an article published in the December 3, 203 Sunday Edition of the Stabroek News titled, “Stop Playing Games with the Tepui Contract”.

It is therein alleged that the commission has been evading the subject of the Tepui contract award for the Belle Vue Pump Station with Mr. David Patterson, MP being quoted as saying “One week they cancelled the statutory meeting, another week they said they will discuss the matter but they have been evading the subject.”

It is most unfortunate that the Stabroek News would not follow basic journalistic good practices in putting the aforesaid to the commission and giving it an opportunity to comment prior to publication.

It is farthest from the truth, and wholly illogical to contend that the commission having taken the decision to launch an investigation would then evade a determination of same.

There is absolutely no basis for such a contention. Any insinuation that a meeting of the commission was cancelled to avoid consideration of the matter is mendacious and mischievous. During the interim, a meeting of the commission scheduled for Friday, November 24, 2023 was postponed (not ‘cancelled’) to the next working day, that is, Monday, November, 27, 2023, to facilitate the presence of all commissioners as the commission endeavours to do.

The award of the Tepui contract has engaged the attention of the commission at each and every meeting of the commission since it received a request for an investigation thereto from Mr. David Patterson, MP on October 3, 2023, as is reflected by the Minutes of the commission.

Notwithstanding the commission’s limited resources, it strives to complete reviews of all complaints and requests for investigations within the shortest possible time frame, which varies depending on what arises, and which may or may not be limited to the issue raised in the original request but which the commission in its wide constitutional powers can investigate.

With regard to the Tepui matter in particular, which the commission notes has excited public interest, the commission at its last meeting of December 1, 2023 having received a copy of the tender proceedings from the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB) on or about November 10, 2023, considered the Report of its Operations Department thereon and decided to put certain matters arising therefrom to the procuring entity and NPTAB for response in accordance with due process. It is expected that the request and response ought to be forthcoming within the next fourteen (14) days.

The commission wishes to assure the general public that no stone will be left unturned in a full and thorough investigation into the matter as is done with all investigations of the commission in discharge of its constitutional mandate.

The commission once again urges persons to be responsible and not reckless in their statements which could have the damaging effect of needlessly undermining public confidence.