Contracts for friends and family…wants inquiry of contracts awarded by selective tenderingFollowing allegations surfacing against the Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo) Administration of contracts being awarded to friends and family of senior officials, the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) has formally called on the Public Procurement Commission (PPC) to investigate.The letter that was sent to the Public Procurement CommissionIn a correspondence seen by this publication, Chairman Brian Allicock informed the PPC that there are cases where contracts are awarded to supporters of the current Government, but these contractors do not have the requisite compliance documents.“It was noted that approximately sixty projects were awarded of which only eighteen were advertised, and the others were done by selective tendering,” Allicock wrote. “It is also observed that contracts were only awarded to the supporters of the coalition Government. Contractors that paid for compliances were not considered.”“Information received from reliable source [State] that most of these contractors who were considered under selective tendering do not have valid compliances. The Regional Democratic Council believes that this is a total violation of National Procurement and Tender Administration Board Act, and, therefore, seeks an urgent intervention,” he also wrote.The correspondence was copied to Minister of Communities Ronald Bulkan, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo, Chairman of the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB) Berkley Wickham, Ethnic Relations Committee Chairman John Adams, Public Accounts Committee, Auditor General Deodat Sharma and the Accountant General.This publication had previously reported on the award of a number of contracts by the Regional Tender Board in Region Nine to the near relatives of a high-ranking regional official.According to documents seen by this publication, the recipient of one such contract is the son of the regional official. According to the documents, he was awarded a $4 million contract through selective tendering for the construction of sanitary blocks at the Kumu Nursery School in Region Nine.Another contract to the same individual was for maintenance work to the Lethem Sub-Treasury Office, to the tune of $489,000. This contract was also awarded by selective tendering, a case in which the contractor has been invited to tender for a project.Meanwhile, another contractor was the recipient of a $2.1 million contract to carry out repairs on Baitoon Primary sanitary block. The contractor, who is reportedly the official’s son-in-law, was awarded this contract through selective tendering.Documents also show that he received an even larger contract worth $6.1 million to carry out repairs at the Health post at Shea Village, also in Region Nine.This comes at a time when there are rising calls for a policy that will guard against conflicts of interest to be created. Observers have criticised the Ministerial Code of Conduct for lacking teeth and distinct penalties. Meanwhile, the Integrity Commission has previously complained about not having investigators.Region Nine has long been a hot button region when its Administration is called upon to answer for procurement violations at the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the National Assembly. The Audit Office of Guyana has previously red-flagged the region.According to the AG’s 2016 report, a sum of $73.871 million was budgeted for the procurement of drugs and medical supplies under the Health Services Programme for 2016. It stated that amounts totalling $63.871 million were expended as of December 31, 2016.
6 May 2013The Springbok Sevens team became the only team to win three times in the 2012/13 HSBC Sevens World Series when they captured the Edinburgh Sevens with a 28-21 victory over New Zealand on Sunday.It was South Africa’s second successive tournament win, following on victory in Tokyo last month. In fact, they have won three of the last four tournaments. Fiji, with two wins, is the only team to have won twice, while New Zealand has won just once despite making five finals.The Kiwis, however, captured the overall 2012/13 HSBC World Series title by reaching the final in Edinburgh, with South Africa in second place with one tournament left to go.Second placeFiji can still overhaul South Africa for second spot, providing they win the last tournament in London and the Blitzbokke fail to make the Cup quarter-finals.Commenting after the final, Springbok Sevens coach Paul Treu was quick to congratulate New Zealand for their Series win.“They were the most consistent team this year and that is why they are the overall champions, so it is well deserved to them,” he said.Treu then paid tribute to his players. “We arrived here without two of our playmakers (Branco du Preez and Cecil Afrika), but this just made the remaining players in the squad much more determined.‘Very rewarding’“We had to nurse a couple of players through this tournament, so it is very rewarding to see their hard work paying off.”The final was a tense affair. South Africa started well with a great try by Seabelo Senatla, but the Kiwis scored from the restart to level matters. They subsequently took a lead into half-time with a well-worked try (14-7).Treu’s talk at the break then lifted the Blitzbokke. “The coach reminded us to what our strong points are and urged us to execute that. He asked us to play minute-to-minute, doing what we do best. We did that and it worked for us,” captain Frankie Horne said afterwards.Tries by Steven Hunt, Philip Snyman and Cornal Hendricks took South Africa into a comfortable 28-14 lead before New Zealand added another converted try to set up a thrilling finish.South Africa’s defence held up to the challenge and the title was theirs.ResultsEarlier, they outclassed USA in the Cup quarters, beating them 22-5. Chris Dry, Senatla (2) and Paul Delport scored the tries.In the semi-finals, they faced England and, again, two breakaway tries by the speedy Senatla set-up the win. A Cornal Hendricks try secured a 24-17 victory.On day one, the Blitzbokke edged Kenya and Canada 17-14 and thumped Samoa 27-0 to finish top of their pool.SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material