Was Nandlall ‘flummoxed’ by the Duke Street sale?

Dear Editor,

I refer to Mr Anil Nandlall’s letter (‘The government cannot avoid the provisions of the Procurement Act’ SN, December 1)) in which he sets out in extenso the provisions of the Procurement Act in order to “prove” that I was wrong in defending the government’s action by signing an MOU with Fedders Lloyd without another tender process, and asserting that such a process was to Guyana’s disadvantage. He claims to be “flummoxed.” I am not surprised, being a condition with which he is quite familiar.

Towards the end of 2009, the then government, which is the administration I meant to refer to as the most corrupt in Guyana’s post-Independence history, and certainly not the administration of the Jagans, as Mr Nandlall very well knows, sold a property at lot 52 or 93B Duke Street, Kingston, to Mr Gerry Gouveia, whose bid was third in line after the highest bidder withdrew. Mr Gouveia paid the highest bid price.

Dr Luncheon was then quoted in the press as saying that the government had ‘instructed’ ministers involved in the matter to discuss with the bidders the issue as to who would get the property. Mr Gouveia, not surprisingly, was successful.

Section 41 of the Procurement Act states: “There shall be no negotiation between the procuring entity and any of the bidders.” The government’s (of 2006-2011) actions as above described were therefore in violent conflict with section 41.

More recently, just prior to the November, 2011, elections, Mr Nandlall’s president, Mr Bharrat Jagdeo, awarded at no cost a dozen or so radio licences worth billions of Guyana dollars on no known criteria, ignoring any notion of transparency, such as putting the licences up for tendering as is done elsewhere. There were over fifty applicants.

If Mr Nandlall indicates whether he was also “flummoxed” by these events and if so, what he did arising from his state of being “flummoxed,” I will address the issues surrounding the Procurement Act.

In relation to my being silent on the issue of corruption while in the leadership of the PPP during which time Mr Nandlall received medical expenses which he repaid, presumably because he felt that he was not entitled to it, I was hounded out of the PPP for speaking out publicly against corruption after internal objections fell on deaf ears for years. Mr Nandlall should also be congratulated for speaking out and revealing his views about matters even if, when he does so, it is in language that would make a guttersnipe blush.

Yours faithfully,

Ralph Ramkarran

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