The People’s Progressive Party /Civic (PPPC), has written to the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) requesting a probe into the controversial award of a $146M contract to Netherlands-based Company, Lievense CSO, for a feasibility study for the New Demerara River Crossing.
A recent investigation conducted by the Public Procurement Commission (PPC), at the request of the PPP, contains findings which suggest that standard procurement protocols were bypassed in the award of the contract.
The PPP believes that the report has sufficient evidence to bring corruption charges against the head of the procuring entity, the Minister of Public Infrastructure (MPI), David Patterson.
Further, the PPP through its Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo, said that the entire Cabinet should feel the brunt of the law since it was the body that granted its “no objection” ruling to award the study to the company.
The PPP through its Chief Whip and Member of Parliament, Gail Teixeira, in the letter to the Head of SOCU, Lieutenant Colonel (retired) and Assistant Commissioner of Police, Sydney James, has cited the PPC report; suggesting that it be the launchpad of the investigations.
Teixeira wrote to James: “Due to the seriousness of their (PPC) findings and the gross violations of the Procurement Act, with particular reference to the role of the Minister of Public Infrastructure in violating the Procurement Act and the most recent Code of Conduct as outlined in the Integrity Commission, Act, I hereby call on the S.O. C.U. to take action as required under the law.
I also ask you to note that Dr. Sittlington, Advisor to the S.O.C.U., in response to issues raised at an Anti-Corruption Seminar for Members of Parliament in July 2018, stated that any evidence of corruption by Ministers, public officials, etc., should be sent to the Unit.
I have therefore taken his advice, and, l hereby submit the Report and correspondence on this issue for a comprehensive investigation by the S.O.C.U with a view to instituting criminal charges against the Minister of Public Infrastructure, Minister David Patterson, M.P.”