Public accountability and transparency integral to development agenda – President Ali

– Members of the Public Procurement Commission take oath of office

His Excellency Dr Irfaan Ali said that public accountability, transparency, and functioning institutional mechanisms are integral to supporting the country’s transformative development pathway.

The Head of State made this pronouncement today during the swearing-in ceremony for the members of the Public Procurement Commission, at the Office of the President on Shiv Chanderpaul Drive.

The Commission comprises of Mr Joel Bhagwandin, Mr Rajnarine Singh, Ms Dianna Rajcumar and Mr Berkley Wickham. The fifth member, Ms Pauline Chase, was not present and will be sworn in at a later date.

“This Government has embarked on a development path that is transformative. Important to that transformation are issues of public accountability, transparency, and ensuring that institutional mechanisms and systems that allow the public expenditure to occur are not only strong, but that they’re continually renewed in an effort to advance and enhance transparency and accountability.”

President Ali noted that the job of the Public Procurement Commission is one that adds the tier of institutional mechanism that has been established to ensure oversight of public financing, in this instance, the oversight of procurement.

“So that whatever we do, falls under the umbrella of transparent, democratic and open governance. Your role and responsibility cannot be understated. That is why there are specific skill sets that are required and that the Constitution speaks to in relation to the members of the Public Procurement Commission.”

He expressed confidence that the combined experience, knowledge and diverse expertise of the members of the Commission will add value to the Commission’s work and will bring the necessary benefits to the country and to government systems as work progresses on enhancing and building a stronger framework through which Guyana will be transformed and developed.

He informed the members that Attorney-at-Law Pauline Chase is expected to return to Guyana next week and will be sworn in soon after. He said that this will ensure that the commission “can be fully constituted and you can move into execution of your responsibilities”.

The Constitution of Guyana mandates the appointment of a Public Procurement Commission tasked with oversight of the public procurement process.

In a separate ceremony, Police Service Commission member, Mr Hakeem Mohamed, was also sworn in. Mr Mohamed was not present when the other members of the PSC were sworn in on May 31, 2022.

The Honourable Prime Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d), Mark Philips,  Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, the Honourable Anil Nandlall; Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance, the Honourable Gail Teixeira, members of the Public Accounts Committee and relatives of the newly sworn-in Commissioners were also present at the ceremony.

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