AFC hammers Procurement Commission’s inaction on Belle Vue pump station contract

AFC hammers Procurement Commission’s inaction on Belle Vue pump station contract

The Alliance for Change today hammered the majority decision of the Public Procurement Commission not to take action in the award of the $865M Belle Vue pump station contract, although several breaches were found in the award of the contract. The contract was awarded to the Tepui company, which is managed by social media talk show host, Mikhail Rodrigues aka “The Guyanese Critic”.

The AFC found the report to be shamelessly objectionable, unfair and yet another knockdown of a guardrail of democracy. 

The opposition party accused the Public Procurement Committee’s published report of ignoring the minority recommendation of two members of the Commission that the project be re-tendered.

The AFC noted that all five Commissioners of the Public Procurement Commission agreed that the Tepui company was guilty of serious evaluation disqualifications.

The AFC said the minority recommendation is which is not captured in the Summary of Findings by the PPC, was that the Tepui bid must be deemed non-responsive and should be re-tendered. 

The AFC said it is amazing that a bid which did not meet any of the evaluation criteria could have been passed by the Evaluation Committee, then the Tender Board and then find blessings and approval by Cabinet.

“The AFC does not know the names of the members of the Evaluation Committee. However, their names must not be an official secret. The public has a right to know who they are. The AFC is aware that the head of NPTAB is Mr. Tarachand Balgobin, who has a senior advisory role at the Ministry of Finance as Deputy National Authorising Officer and head of its Public Investment Unit. A conflict of interest is most noticeable here. Also,it is well known that Tepui’s owner is a close friend of Vice President Jagdeo. There is an undoubted confluence of interests and relationships here that mattered more than the merits of the Tepui bid”, the party said.

According to the AFC, it believes that the majority recommendation of the PPC only ruined matters more when it determined that it cannot propose any remedial action.

“This kind of misconceived “lenience” ought to have come only from the interested parties who want to see the award go to a friend. It should never have come from a constitutional body which was fought long and hard for to be a check and balanced against Executive lawlessness in procurement matters.” 

The AFC said it finds the legal device of privity of contract by three of the Commissioners to allow the award, to be an abomination and an abdication of their duty to protect against fraud and corruption in procurement matters.

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