Nominations to Public Procurement Commission invited

As part of a renewed drive to establish the long-awaited Public Procurement Commission (PPC) nominees are now being invited from the public for this body.

An advertisement in yesterday’s edition of the Stabroek News by the Public Accounts Commi-ttee (PAC) of Parliament says that in keeping with its decision it was now seeking names from a reasonably wide cross-section of society.

“…the PAC hereby invites stakeholders, political parties, civil organizations as well as individuals, who have an interest in the establishment and proper working of the Public Procurement Commission, to submit the names of persons eligible to be considered as commissioners”, the ad under the signature of Clerk of the National Assembly, Sherlock Isaacs said.

The PPC is more than 10 years overdue and critics have argued that the ruling PPP/C has stymied its establishment to ensure full control of the procurement process. The PPP/C is now moving for an amendment to the procurement act to enable Cabinet to remain no-objection powers even if the PPC is set up.

Under article 212 of the constitution, the PPC shall comprise five members who shall have “expertise and experience in procurement, legal, financial and administrative matters”. The president shall appoint the members after they have been nominated by the PAC and approved by not less than two-thirds of the National Assembly.

The advertisement said it is the wish of the PAC that the PPC would reflect as far as possible the social, gender and political make-up of the country. “The nominees should first and foremost be competent to carry out the required duties. The usual considerations regarding the need to be of good repute, without criminal records and no history of bankruptcy, apply”, the ad said.

A deadline of Monday, January 20, 2014 has been set. The ad erroneously states 2013.

All submissions have to be sent to the Clerk of the Committee, Public Accounts of Committee, Committees Division, Parliament Office, Public Buildings, Brickdam, Georgetown. The PPP/C has been accused of not naming its nominees and changing its position on how the five nominees will be selected. The Alliance for Change had nominated Chartered Accountant Christopher Ram and former Auditor General Anand Goolsarran. Both of these persons have been opposed by the PPP/C.

The key hitch will be the two-thirds approval requirement for the nominees. This will mean that there will have to be all-party approval of the nominees.

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