Dear Editor,

The Public Procurement Commission (PPC) recently concluded its report on the summary of findings in relation to the award of a contract to the Tepui Group Inc. As expected, certain media houses and commentators questioned why the PPC could not have revoked the contract since so many “breaches” were found.

Although the summary of findings showed a number of inconsistencies in the evaluation process, there was no established breach, per se, of the Procurement Act. This is an important point to note that escaped the media. The PPC does not have the legal authority to rescind or revoke any contract.

In the circumstances, the PPC is restricted to providing recommendations for remedial action (s), which it did. It should be noted, too, that the PPC is not a Court of Law, therefore it does not have the powers of a Court of law.

With respect to the question of taking action, which was requested by the complainant, Opposition Member David Patterson, it is important to draw attention to a previous matter involving the said Minister, which was fundamentally dissimilar in nature.
To that end, the PPC had done an investigation into the infamous feasibility study for the new Demerara Harbour Bridge under the former Minister, David Patterson. That report is on the PPC’s website for reference. The findings therefrom showed that the former Minister, David Patterson, was found to be directly in breach of the Procurement Act, multiple breaches of the Act were established.

Yet, to date, the former Minister has not been penalized or held accountable. It is for the very reason whereby the Procurement Act does not provide penalties for breaches.

Notwithstanding, in the case of the former Minister David Patterson, if under the Fiscal Management and Accountability Act (FMAA)―misappropriation of public funds is/was established, then, thereunder he can be prosecuted. Conversely, in the case of the Tepui Group Inc. that is currently attracting the attention of the media, it is not a matter of misappropriation of public funds.

It is important to note, as well, that there was no evidence supporting the notion that the evaluation process was skewed in favor of a preferred bidder, because whatever was done in the evaluation process was applied across the board.

Joel Bhagwandin
Commissioner, PPC


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