Gov’t abiding by procurement laws – PPP GS Dr Jagdeo

The Peoples Progressive Party/Civic Administration since 2020, has acted transparently and in keeping with the Procurement Act of 2003 when awarding multi-million dollar contracts to companies executing major projects for the government.

The Procurement Act is the legislative framework that established the rights, obligations and responsibilities of all parties in the procurement procedures. It sets out procedures for controlling of public procurement to ensure that public funds are used most cost-effectively.

General Secretary of the Peoples Progressive Party, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo referencing an article of a contract signed under the coalition government for the supply of 12 pumps that are underperforming to this day

During a press conference on Thursday, the General Secretary of PPP, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo, highlighted the significant difference in the contract awarding process between the current government and the previous APNU/AFC coalition government.

“They were not tendering for anything in the past,” he informed reporters at his press conference, adding, “One thing that is clear…the procurement process is working once again under the government, even when there are corruption issues, records are there…that you can easily investigate.”

QUESTIONABLE TRANSACTIONS UNDER PREVIOUS GOVERNMENT

At the press conference, Dr Jagdeo pointed the media to a series of reports that fingered the coalition in corrupt practices.

In 2018, according to a report from the Public Procurement Commission (PPC) a slew of procurement laws were breached when a $148 million was awarded to a Dutch company for a feasibility study for a new bridge design across the Demerara River. An investigation was conducted based on a request from the then Opposition Chief Whip, Gail Teixeira.

That was not the only instance. Reeling back to 2015, APNU/AFC had signed an agreement with Fedders Lloyd Corporation Limited to build and equip a speciality hospital without a public tender for the project. Also, AFC played a lead role in killing the project that was initially devised under the previous PPP/C administration. 

Dr Jagdeo further explained, “[Khemraj] Ramjattan was hired by a company called Fedders Lloyd …to say that the company that won the bid [in 2012 was involved] in a fraudulent transaction….he was in Parliament trying to block the project by slashing the funding…on November 26, 2015, miraculously, the Government of Guyana signed a MOU with Fedders Lloyd to build the same speciality hospital…that was Ramjattan’s client [and there was] no public tender, not a single public tender for that project.”

The same company was disbarred by the World Bank, an international financial institution, over fraudulent and corrupt practices, until the year 2020.

Dr Jagdeo also brought up an issue regarding the procurement of 12 pumps in 2018 from a company called Appollo. According to Dr Jagdeo, these pumps have been performing poorly and failing to meet the expected standards up to this day. What’s worth noting is that the contract was signed on behalf of Apollo by a representative named Ajay Jha, who also happened to be Fedders Lloyd’s representative.

“We should have a full-fledged investigation. How is it that this company which was Ramjattan’s client, that was blacklisted by the World Bank…ended up signing contracts to supply pumps that are now underperforming…should it not be investigated fully? He questioned.

A company owned by a former minister had also received $6 million in contracts from a ministry she had headed. These are just a few instances where the Procurement Act was breached under the coalition government.

“APNU+AFC is one of the most venal and corrupt set of organisations…they talk about corruption all the time [but] these are the same people who refused to submit for three years, their Integrity Commission statements,” he stressed.

Dr Jagdeo emphasised the importance of holding the government accountable, not just for its actions or policies, but also for any nefarious transactions that may have been facilitated by the coalition administration. He urged the media and the public to scrutinize such transactions and demand transparency and accountability from those responsible.

COVID-19 Notice: Due to the pandemic some consular services will be conducted by registered mail until further notice. Learn more