Rohee dismisses AFC plan to advance procurement body


PPP General Secretary Clement Rohee yesterday dismissed a plan by the AFC to push the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to move forward with the setting up of the Public Procurement Commission (PPC) without the submission of the PPP/C’s nominees.

Rohee called comments made by AFC MP Trevor Williams, who had told Stabroek News that he would be encouraging the PAC to move ahead, as “reckless.”

Once the PAC settles on nominees, they would be put to the National Assembly, where a two-thirds vote is required to get the names approved. The PPP/C is yet to identify its nominees and without its support during the vote by the National Assembly the process cannot move forward.

Williams said the committee can no longer wait on the PPP/C and that he will seek to have the work progress in spite of the non-submission of the ruling party’s nominees. As the committee finalises the criteria for selecting nominees, he said, the PPP/C will have time to decide on its submissions.

Support from the PPP/C is unlikely as the government refuses to budge on its no-objection clause.

Presidential Advisor on Governance Gail Teixeira, who sits on the committee with Williams, has said that the PPP/C will name its nominees and move the process forward when the opposition parties agree to allow Cabinet to retain its no-objections power in procurement after the PPC comes into being. President Donald Ramotar has echoed this position. This position is contrary to the opposition view that Cabinet could remain a stakeholder and can object and query issues that may arise but the ultimate decisions will be the sole responsibility of the PPC.

According to amended legislation, which the government itself voted to pass, Cabinet’s no-objection in the procurement process will be phased out with the setting up of the PPC. The opposition parties have stated that they will not support government’s efforts to reverse the amendment.

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