An opposition parliamentarian’s recommendation to de-politicise the local procurement mechanism is to add more politicians to the system. Ganesh Mahipaul’s commentary comes against the backdrop of Vice President, Bharrat Jagdeo talking about a review of the system amid allegations of corruption.

Mahipaul proposed solutions to improve the procurement system in Guyana, emphasizing the need to eliminate political interference and fully respect the Procurement Act of 2003. To ensure accountability, transparency, and good governance, he suggested amending the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB) to include opposition representatives for proper scrutiny.

Mahipaul criticized political interference in the procurement system, specifically pointing to Vice President Jagdeo. He argued that if the government is serious about reform, it must adhere to the Procurement Act and avoid political meddling in contract awards, ensuring fair opportunities for all contractors, regardless of political affiliations.

Mahipaul also pointed out Jagdeo and his government’s slothfulness to address these procurement issues, despite the ruling People’s Progressive Party/Civic’s (PPP/C) has been, since 2020, rolling out mammoth oil-backed budgets with massive spending on infrastructure.

Mahipaul said that his party, the People’s National Congress Refrom and its larger bloc, A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) have been at the forefront calling for an overhaul since 2021.

Jagdeo last Thursday issued a stern warning to public officers who are found guilty of violating procurement laws.

“Let me put on notice all of those people who are responsible for procurement in public corporations, statutory bodies, the Ministries, Regions…everywhere…all the way up to the National Tender Board. We are examining the procurement procedures for compliance with the laws,” he noted.

“If we find that those officers are skirting the provisions of the procurement law, then there shall be consequences for them. Too often we hear complaints that in some parts of the country, somebody is doing something wrong,” he emphasized.


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