Bid Review Committee maintaining transparency – Minister Teixeira

says Mahipaul trying to distract from the “real issue”

Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance, Gail Teixeira, M.P, has highlighted that the Procurement Act provides for a Bid Review Committee to address issues of contractors who are dissatisfied with a particular tender process.

Explaining the function of the Bid Review Committee, the Minister said that contractors who are dissatisfied with a particular bid in keeping with the Procurement Act may bring their complaints to the NPTAB who must set up a Bid Review Committee to hear the claims by the contractor within a specified period and decide on the claim. In the interim, the award of the contract is put on hold pending the completion of the process by the Bid Review Committee.

Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance, Gail Teixeira, MP

“The review committee is set up in accordance with the law, to review that particular complaint by the particular contractor…the Procurement Act provides for the National Procurement and Tender Administration, and it provides for a Bid Review Committee for contractors who are unhappy with the results of an award or contract,” the minister explained.

This was in response to Chair of the PAC, Mr. Jermaine Figueira’s comments in the PAC on June 13th 2022 and MP Ganesh Mahipaul, who claimed that the government is not doing enough to ensure legality and transparency by appointing the PPC.

Mahipaul had further claimed that in the absence of the PPC the companies /contractors who were dissatisfied could not have their complaints addressed. He further went on to rubbish the Bid Review Committee provided for in the Procurement Act.

The Minister rubbished the claim by Mahipaul that the members of the Bid Review Committee do not enjoy the confidence of the various contractors.

“This is laughable as this committee is established when there is a complaint and the individuals on the committee may not be the same as in the case of a permanent committee.”

“This has never been brought to light publicly, [maybe] it was the imagination of Mahipaul, [but] that has never been said publicly by anybody or reported in the press by anybody, that people  have no confidence win the Bid Review Commitee,” she told DPI.

The Bid review process allows for the award to be paused while the matter is examined. If as Mahipaul claims that the PPC has to do this, the PPC can only do so after the award has been made.

This same issue was discussed in depth at the PAC last Monday, June 6th 2022

It was pointed out at the [Public Accounts Committee] last week that when a complaint is made, and it is before the bid review committee, no contract can be awarded…the committee has to answer within two weeks when the claims by the contractor are valid. If the contractors go to the PPC, it is most likely that the award has already been signed,” Minister Teixeira detailed.

Minister Teixeira said “this is a blatant attempt by Mahipaul and other members of the Opposition to misinform and detract from what is unfolding at every PAC meeting and that is the instances of gross corruption found in the 2016, 2017 and 2018 Annual Audit Reports of the Auditor General under the APNUAFC Coalition Government.

“One has to only remember that two former Ministers under the APNUAFC Coalition government have been charged for breach of procurement laws including sale of national assets; the new Demerara Harbour Bridge contract without going through the tender process which the PPC found unlawful; the Durban/Jubilee  Park fiasco costing over $1.5 Billion, more than 60% unaccounted for : the Sussex Street Bond costing over $300M to taxpayers for a house rented to a party financier; the purchase of hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of drugs without going through the procurement process; the Georgetown MMC using almost $500 M which cannot be accounted for despite the investigation by the Audit Office… and  the saga of abuse and corruption goes on and on.

“With this track record, one would expect that this trend of breaches and violations of the Procurement Act would be found to continue in 2019 and 2020. This is the real issue which Mahipaul and APNUAFC would like the public to forget about.”.

The Minister reiterated the government’s commitment to transparency and confirmed that the PPC will be appointed.

With a flurry of activities overlapping each other, such as the Agri Forum and Expo and the recently concluded Summit of the Americas, and the upcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government, President, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali has been able to place Guyana back into focus at the international and regional arena and to garner new friends and allies, as well as financial support and investors to Guyana.

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