Guyana’s Constitution does not provide for a Ministerial Plenary; therefore, any decision it takes is not binding and can be deemed illegal, said Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo, during an exclusive interview with the Guyana Standard.
The former Head of State said, “There is no such thing as a Ministerial Plenary provided for by the Constitution of Guyana and therefore any decision taken at a ministerial plenary will have no binding effect on the public servants, the public service, and would be illegal in the award of contracts and would be a violation of not just our Constitution but the ruling of the Chief Justice.”
Jagdeo’s comments come in wake of State Minister, Joseph Harmon’s admission yesterday that while no “Cabinet meetings” are being held, a Ministerial Plenary — a meeting of all ministers chaired by the President — is meeting and making use of all the powers Cabinet had.
At the Ministry of the Presidency yesterday, Harmon said that the Ministerial Plenary noted several contracts.
Harmon noted that a contract was awarded to Memorex Enterprise for the rehabilitation of a pump station at Rose Hall, East Berbice-Corentyne (Region Six) in the sum of $64,140,544.00.
In the Ministry of Agriculture, the Minister noted that a contract was awarded to M. Sukhai Contracting Services for the construction of the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority’s new building at the Cotton Field Compound, Essequibo Coast for $39,479,550.00.
Under the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, the Minister stated that a contract was awarded to K. P. Thomas and Sons Contracting Incorporated for preparatory works for the Port Kaituma Hospital road, Barima-Waini (Region One) for the sum of $21,833,790.00.
With regard to the Ministry of Education, a contract was awarded to Caribbean Engineering and Management Consultants Incorporated for the design and construction supervision services for Lot A – North West Secondary School Practical Instruction Department in Barima-Waini (Region One) and the Bartica Secondary School Practical Instruction Department in Cuyuni-Mazaruni (Region Seven) for the sum of $114,010,500.00.
As for the Ministry of Natural Resources, Harmon said that a contract was awarded to Dr. Michael Warner for individual consultancy for local content in the oil and gas sector in Guyana to the tune of US$104,500.00.
As it relates to Ministry of Communities, a contract was awarded to Link Up Media for the construction of Smart Stops in nine municipalities. It will cost $18,199,236.00.
Harmon vehemently disagreed with concerns that the government is running the risk of having all decisions it makes via the plenary, challenged by the political opposition. He strongly contends that the Plenary is provided for under the Constitution.