Opposition Members on the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) this morning accused the government of not giving priority to the establishment of the Public Procurement Commission (PPC) with PAC Chairman, Jermain Figueira labeling the non-establishment of the Commission an “untenable” situation.
The Public Procurement Commission which monitors public procurement to ensure the principles of fairness, equity, value for money, and competition are upheld and to ensure that the procedures of public procurement are executed in accordance with the laws of Guyana, has not been in place since October 2019 and although a sub-committee of the PAC was established six months ago to deal with the shortlisting of names, the government side is still to submit its final nominees from the shortlisted names.
“Let me make it abundantly clear to this Committee that I have made strenuous efforts on numerous occasions to make contact with Madam Teixeira so that we can bring this issue to finality. Many calls were unanswered, many texts were answered late and those proposed meetings could not have been met,” Figueira said.
In her contribution on the issue, Governance Minister Gail Teixeira said she thought that the recently concluded internal elections of the PNC might warrant the PAC members to consult with the new PNC leadership on the issue.
Ms. Teixeira was upbraided by the PAC Chairman who told her not to let the PNC’s internal elections be of her concern. He said the Opposition has already done its part and it is the government that is pussyfooting on the issue.
“The Opposition is ready for this to be set up, and I strongly believe that the Government is pussyfooting around the issue and it is time we bring this to finality and stop grandstanding around what is happening in the affairs of the PNC—that is not the government’s business. We are here at the Public Accounts Committee to bring finality to the issue of appointing the Commissioners to sit on the Public Procurement Commission, what the Opposition decides is the Opposition’s business” Figueira noted.
Both sides have already agreed to a formula that would be used to establish the five-person Commission and Wednesday has been proposed as the next meeting day for the sub-committee to meet and move the process forward.
While Minister Teixeira proposed that the sub-committee continues from where it left off, the Opposition members said they are not prepared for any more delays in appointing the Public Procurement Commission.