Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Carl Greenidge says none of the parliamentary parties has formally submitted their nominees for the Public Procurement Commission (PPC), although AFC leader Khemraj Ramjattan maintains that this party’s nominations have already been made.
Ramjattan recently told Stabroek News that he had indicated to Greenidge the names of the AFC nominees— Christopher Ram and former Auditor General Anand Goolsarran—and the AFC representative on the PAC Trevor Williams had done so as well. He added that while there is no requirement in the constitution for the party to formally submit the names, if this is required, it would be done on Monday. The AFC last year publicly named Ram and Goolsarran as its nominees for the PPC and continues to support them, Ramjattan said.
However, when this newspaper spoke to Greenidge on Monday, he said that formal nominations were all still outstanding. Yesterday, Greenidge said that there is a formal process that needs to be followed when making nominations to the PPC and that none of the political parties had adhered to this process.
Addressing Ramjattan’s claims, Greenidge said that the process does not allow for nominations via public announcements, thus rendering the AFC’s nominations null.
Ramjattan stated that if Greenidge had these concerns, he should have written the party to make him aware of these procedures, although Greenidge stated that letters had been written to all three political parties concerning the nominations.
When contacted last week, APNU and Opposition Leader David Granger confirmed to Stabroek News that the coalition had not submitted names People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Chief Whip Gail Teixeira had said that there are more important things on the government’s agenda than the PPC. According to her, the ruling party wrote to the parties to remind them and got no response.
They wanted consensus at the political level before going to the PAC, she noted. “There are other issues on the agenda. In terms of priorities, it may not be the number one priority,” she said.
Earlier last year the parties had agreed to arrive at the names of the members of the long-delayed PPC via consensus and on May 10, 2012 Minister of Foreign Affairs Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett had announced in the National Assembly that that it would be established by the end of June 2012. However, this deadline was not met.
Greenidge said that he can do nothing in the interim but wait on the political parties to make their formal nominations.