The coalition administration constantly preaches  “transparency and accountability,” however, Opposition Parliamentarian, Irfaan Ali recently said that the Government has proven to be “the nation’s biggest hypocrite.”

He made this remark during his contribution to the budget 2019 debates on Monday.

There, Ali outlined that the coalition government has engaged in some of the most reckless procurement practices in the nation’s history, citing the cost of the feasibility study for the new Demerara River Bridge Crossing as a prime example.

In this regard, the politician noted that the government expended $150 million on a 58-page feasibility study that was awarded to a “handpicked contractor in clear breach of our procurement laws.”

Ali said, “This is the most expensive feasibility study of our time where it cost this nation $2.5 million per page. And the sad part is that it will not be used for anything…It will be thrown into a corner.”

The Parliamentarian also noted that this is only one of many other projects that resulted in a significant loss of taxpayers’ money. At this point, the Opposition Member reminded of the $1.1 billion that was expended on Durban Park rehabilitation. He noted that it was later flagged by the Audit Office for flagrant financial irregularities.

Ali also highlighted the sum of $400 million which represents Inter-Departmental Warrants (IDWs) provided by the Ministry of Communities to the Georgetown Mayor and City Council for sanitation services.  But this transaction was not supported by details of the payments, including the exact periods and description/particulars of services, and its related costs.

Ali said that there is also the issue of overpayments amounting to $71.738M which were made in respect of measured works on 79 contracts administered by Ministries, Departments and Regions in 2017.

“And one cannot forget the emergency drugs procured from HDM labs at the cost of $100 more than the price offered by other suppliers and delivered in six months instead of two weeks. It is important to note that the supplier failed several qualifying criteria including the authorization to supply the drugs. And the list goes on,” expressed an impassioned Ali.

Considering the aforementioned, the politician stressed that the APNU+AFC party has only proven to be an “agent of corruption, wastage of tax dollars and alarming procurement practices.”


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