Gov’t to restart process to procure waste recycling facility

Following the scrapping last Tuesday of a Memo-randum of Understanding (MOU) signed between Natural Globe Guyana Inc and the Ministry of Local Government on November 11, government is to restart the procurement process for a waste management and recycling facility, but not through the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board.

This is according to a source who said that the Ministry of Local Govern-ment and Regional Deve-lopment will be the procuring agency in spite of the recent brouhaha over the signing of the MOU without proper due diligence being done.

According to a source within the government, there was a paucity of information on the company Natural Globe Guyana Inc prior to the signing of the MOU. It was subsequently revealed that the company’s extent of waste management expertise amounted to the setting up of a prototype only. The source said this shortcoming was recognised and will be corrected. The source said too that all of the companies which had submitted proposals will be considered. Another of the companies that had submitted a proposal was Panther Recycling Cor-poration of Canada. This company already has recycling operations in Jamaica and Trinidad.

Meanwhile, Natural Globe (Guyana) Inc broke its silence on the issue yesterday issuing a press release in which it stated that daughter of Minister of Human Services and Social Security Jennifer Webster had resigned from the company.

The statement, from John Mogford of the Anavitas Group, said that over the past two weeks “a significant amount of negative press” had been generated around the signing of the MOU.

“Subsequent speculation and misinformation by certain members of the fifth estate in this country has resulted in the ministry retracting this memorandum,” the company said

“At the outset, it must be understood that this was exactly as stated, a Memorandum of Understanding, and as such contained no contractual commitment on the part of either of the parties,” it said. “Rather it was a document clearly stating the terms and conditions necessary to affect a mutual agreement between the two parties and the time line to complete an end agreement.”

It said that Natural Globe, along with eight other entities, was asked to submit a proposal for consideration to mitigate a serious waste disposal issue.

“All the proposals were duly investigated and our proposal was chosen based entirely on its merit, and, presumably, by the fact that the Natural Globe proposal was the only one studied that had no financial impact on the taxpayers. The proposal is predicated on the ability to be entirely self-sufficient,” the company said.

It stressed that at no time during this process “was any value received by neither any of the officials of the ministry nor any political party members to assure an advantage or acceptance of our proposal.”

It said that newspapers “…sought to make allegations that the Minister of Human Services and Social Security Jennifer Webster was somehow involved with Natural Globe and had a hand in the acceptance of our proposal. By her own admission and her statement to the press, this is clearly not the case.”

It said that the minister’s daughter Andriana Webster, “currently working in Canada, has worked with us in her capacity of an IT specialist… is exceptionally good” at what she does and as such, is a valued associate. “Ms Webster was a director of Natural Globe Guyana Inc but was not a shareholder nor had she any financial involvement in the company.  Ms Webster has subsequently resigned from the company. The speculation that her involvement had any impact on the granting of the memorandum or that she had access to the kind of investment needed is absurd.”

The company said that by virtue of the emerging technologies around waste disposal and the conversion of such to saleable product, it is expected that any proposal of this nature must include a non-disclosure agreement between the parties involved.

It said that since it is reasonable to assume that one entity does not have the needed resources to complete a project of this magnitude on its own, Natural Globe assembled the proposal based on collaborative efforts with other companies, “some of which are coming to the table with proprietary technologies.” The company said that over the past few days it has been given permission to disclose who those partners are.

It listed Anavitas Group Inc, dedicated to Energy Conservation and Alter-native Energy technologies; Seberras Engineering Inc, a Canadian engineering firm with solid experience in large industrial applications and innovative production facility designs; Mogford Enter-prises Inc, a Canadian business consultancy company that has experience in tyre recycling; and Dan Dorey, a former managing partner for Envirotherm Manufacturing that built and installed separating systems for waste streams. The company said that it has also established working relationships and affiliations with Tadger Group International Inc, Inno-vation Brant Corporation and Anavitas Brant Inc.

The company said it took exception to the perceived need to explain itself as it had been asked to submit a proposal and did so lawfully with no malice of intent or expectation of unlawful gain. “Additionally, we have provided the government agencies with everything they have asked for to allow them to do their due diligence around full disclosure under the umbrella of a non-disclosure agreement,” the company said. However, it added, “We are of firm view that it is absolutely necessary to put an end to the rampant and predatory speculation that is currently being published.”

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