Government on Friday justified its continued role in granting no-objections for contracts saying that while the Public Procurement Commission (PPC) has been established, it does not yet have the requisite human resources needed to take over the task.
“Right now they are not fully ready because there are some physical appointments to be made in the commission that have not been made as yet. Therefore, the role of no objection continues to be exercised by Cabinet,” Minister of State Joseph Harmon explained at a press briefing.
“But we expect that within a very short space of time… this role will be phased out,” Harmon added.
He said the PPC has indicated to government that sometime later this month it will be ready to start executing its full mandate.
Chairman of the PPC Carol Corbin had also explained to Stabroek News late last year that Cabinet will continue its no-objection role as the commission was in the process of shortlisting applicants for three key posts. The three posts, Chief Executive Officer, Head of Corporate Services and a Head of Operations, all have to be approved by the Parliament.
Asked when Cabinet would cease its no-objections, she could not give a specific date, but said the law explained the process. “When you look at the law, the law says two things; that the PPC will work with Cabinet to gradually phase out the no-objection and it also says once we are established. So there is an interpretation there that there could be a period of transition of them giving no-objections,” Corbin said pointing out that while there was the five-member commission the three key personnel had not yet been found.
In addition, the PPC was still scouting for an office to rent. As at Friday the commission was still working out of an office at Parliament.
Last Tuesday, Corbin was at the opening of tenders at the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB), which is located in the Ministry of Finance Main Street compound.
She has also been working with the NPTAB to plan workshops and programmes for the enhancing of the country’s procurement processes and policies.
The PPC Chairman has promised that the procurement oversight body will ensure a strict, transparent system that ensures accountability in every area the commission is responsible for.