President discusses procurement matters with Transparency International official
Georgetown, GINA, November 23, 2013
Procurement, which has become a hot topic for the political opposition was discussed on Friday when Individual Member of Transparency International Professor Trevor Munroe met President Donald Ramotar.
Professor Munroe, a Jamaican native who was appointed to the civil society organisation in 2012 met President Ramotar at his office in the company of a team that included former Auditor General Anand Goolsarran who is head of the local chapter of Transparency International.
President Donald Ramotar greets Individual Member of Transparency International Professor Trevor Munroe
In a brief interview with the Government Information Agency (GINA), Professor Munroe disclosed a few of the issues that were discussed at the “informal” engagement with the Guyanese Head of State.
Among them was the procurement system which Professor Munroe said Jamaica has in place to probe the award of contracts, and which once implemented in Guyana and other parts of the region, must come with robust regulations such as penalties.
President Donald Ramotar, President of Transparency International Guyana Inc, Anand Goolsarran (left), Individual Member of Transparency International Professor Trevor Munroe and another member of the organisation
“We are not satisfied in Jamaica, we have a procurement system that is very robust except for the penalties so people breach the system and there is not enough punishment,” Professor Munroe explained.
His remarks are in keeping with some of the views President Ramotar had articulated at a Procurement Symposium in August this year where he frankly told contractors and suppliers of goods and services to tighten their belts or be prepared to face new penalties.
During the forum which attracted a large representation of contractors, President Ramotar spoke of the plethora of misdemeanors discovered in contract works, among which are immeasurable delays, overruns and variations in contract tardiness and inexcusable reasons for works way behind schedule.
With the introduction of the Procurement Act, in 2003 the way was paved for the establishment of a National Procurement and Tender Administration where bids for contracts are reviewed and recommendations made.
The Act gives the Cabinet the minimal power of a no objection; a role which President Ramotar said must be maintained if the government is to be answerable to the taxpayers.
The political opposition on the other hand wants the involvement of Cabinet to be eliminated and the Public Procurement Commission (PPC) established.