Gov’t’s e-procurement site still down

Government’s much-vaunted procurement website is still inaccessible a week after Stabroek News first reported on the issue.

When contacted yesterday, Press and Publicity Officer for the Office of the President Kwame McCoy said he would check to ascertain the reason for it being down.

It is unclear when the website first became inaccessible but for the past week, the hosts for the website are indicating that the account has been suspended. “This account has been suspended,” the hosts Studio 28 Productions have indicated on the site. “Please contact our billing/support department as soon as possible,” the hosts added on the site.

A source indicated that this is a generic message that usually comes up when a payment has not been made.   There has been no announcement by the authorities about the website being down even after Stabroek News reported the issue.

The website was set up last year August to host all government ads and notices, following the passage of an amendment to the Procurement Act in the National Assembly. Head of the Presidential Secretariat Dr Roger Luncheon later said that the move was a cost-effective measure being implemented by the administration, given the costs associated with print media advertising.

In December, the website was among several government websites that had been reportedly hacked. The others included the Low Carbon Development Strategy website and the website of the Government Information Agency’s (GINA)

When the procurement website was launched a statement from the Office of the President said that the site would enhance accountability and transparency by displaying all current ads and notices according to sectors and categories while maintaining an inventory of past placements.

When the Procurement (Amend-ment) Bill 2010 was passed in the National Assembly last year July, the late PNCR-1G MP Winston Murray had argued that in addition to posting the information on the website the ads should also be placed in the newspapers.  This was echoed by AFC member Khemraj Ramjattan.

Since the enactment of the bill, state advertisements only appear in the Guyana Chronicle of the four daily newspapers.

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