Procurement blunders

Some of the procurement bloopers presided over by the current administration just couldn’t be made up. An “emergency”  purchase of Closed Circuit Televisions (CCTV) under the Ministry of the Presidency is still to be delivered 17 months after it was ordered for no less than the National Intelligence Centre.  

Referendum and discrimination

This government has done some strange things since coming into office, but there can be few more bizarre than its most recent proposal to put to referendum whether or not a minority group should continue to be discriminated against in law.

Reality show politics

This week in Israel, President Trump told  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a roomful of Israelis that, “As you know, Rex, the Secretary of State, has done an incredible job, we just got back from the Middle East …” Most of the room was too tactful to express their surprise at the statement, but in a moment of exasperation, Israel’s ambassador to the United States covered his face with his right hand.

‘Commercial hubs’

At the inaugural Municipal Conference 2017, held recently, President David Granger challenged Mayors of the nine local municipalities to transform their municipalities into “commercial hubs”,  putting into sharp focus the lack of sustainable development planning that has plagued literally all municipalities in Guyana over the years.

Less than sweet

Among the wars raging in the world the latest is the war on sugar. With research having proven that sugar is largely to blame for the pandemic of obesity and its spinoffs – chronic non-communicable diseases like diabetes, heart disease, arthritis and some cancers – many developed countries are moving to tax foods which contain certain amounts of this ingredient.

Mining syndicates muddle?

The gold mining sector is fraught with challenges, complexities and complications. Some of the critical ones have to do with the significant investments and major business risks that investors in the sector take; there is, too, the disparity between the returns that accrue to successful miners and those who must work long and hard for lesser reward.

Mapping territory

In 1978 the writer John McPhee began a series of journeys across the United States to inspect rock formations along the 40th parallel, and to meet the geologists who examined and interpreted them.

Consumer protection

Mention the phrase “consumer protection” in Guyana, and the name ‘Eileen Cox’ must immediately come to mind as her name had, over the years, become almost synonymous with the concept.

Near normal

Back in the 1990s, scientists who were working on antiretroviral drugs to treat HIV—as it had been established that treating the virus would prevent the patient from developing AIDS—had predicted that in time and with better drugs, HIV would become like incurable communicable diseases in the sense that as long as those infected took their medications and followed doctors’ instructions as regards lifestyle adjustments they would live long, fairly healthy lives.

Being There

Peter Sellers, the English comedy actor is best remembered for his acting roles as Inspector Clouseau, an inept inspector in the French Sûreté, in the Pink Panther film series and as Hrundi V Bakshi, a bungling Indian actor who is accidentally invited to a lavish dinner party, in the film, The Party.

‘Ghost’ teachers

A cursory glance at what is just the preliminary report of the Commission of Inquiry into the state of education in Guyana tells us – as if we needed to be told, anyway ‒ that the system is underperforming woefully and that the need for a comprehensive overhaul has reached the point of a national emergency.

The AG and the Judiciary

Justice Franklyn Holder’s decision to recuse himself from the case at whose March 23rd hearing he later reported that the Attorney General Basil Williams engaged in “despicable” conduct leaves unsettled quandaries for both the judiciary and the presidency. 

Common sense planning

It is hard to avoid the conclusion that the simple planning capacity of the public service has become seriously degraded. Of course it is true that we don’t have the quality of personnel currently in the system that used to be available – or at least, not in the numbers they once were – and we also have very few people who are familiar with the methods and approaches employed in the past to get an assignment done efficiently. 

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