More than a month after the Public Procurement Commission (PPC) submitted recommendations to fill its top three positions, Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Irfaan Ali has told Stabroek News that there is no such information before the committee.
Ali was yesterday asked to explain the procedure through which the recommended CEO of the PPC would be approved by Parliament.
He explained that such approval would come via a vote on a motion moved by the chairperson of the PAC. Asked if or when he intended to move such a motion, Ali said that he was awaiting a recommendation from the PPC.
“It has to be taken to the National Assembly through a PAC motion but there is no recommendation before the PAC as yet,” Ali said.
However PPC, Chairperson Carol Corbin told Stabroek News last evening that she made the necessary submission on February 3.2017.
Corbin explained that she sent a report to Clerk of the National Assembly with a letter to the Chairman of PAC attached on February 3.
She explained that in submitting the report to the clerk she attached a letter asking that he make the appropriate arrangements to have it approved by Parliament.
Also attached was a letter to Ali because “I assumed that it was that committee that would have to facilitate it [the report] being laid in Parliament,” Corbin explained.
The letter sent to the Clerk as read by Corbin for this newspaper stated, “Please see enclosed report which requires approval of the National Assembly. I’ve attached a letter to the Public Accounts Committee. I would be grateful for your usual kind assistance in forwarding for requisite approval.”
Corbin also clarified that the report submitted called for the terms and condition of the posts to be approved and not the names of the persons who have won the posts.
The PPC which is getting ready to take control of the procurement process, thereby ending Cabinet’s role in greenlighting contracts, last year advertised several positions. The PPC had said that it would be unable to begin its work until these positions were filled.
The posts included Chief Executive Officer, Head of Corporate Services and Head of Operations.
More than 13 years after Guyana’s Constitution was amended to provide for the PPC and after much haggling between the PPP/Civic, when it was in government and the current APNU+AFC administration, the oversight body was established in October last year.
Former labour minister Nanda Kishore Gopaul is the PPC’s vice-chairman and the other three members are attorney Emily Dodson, accountant Sukrishnalall Pasha and educator Ivor English.
Among the PPC’s key functions, according to the Procurement Act, are to “Monitor and review the functioning of all procurement systems to ensure that they are in accordance with the law and such policy guidelines as may be determined by the National Assembly; promote awareness of the rules, procedures and special requirements of the procurement process among suppliers, constructors and public bodies; safeguard the national interest in public procurement matters, having due regard to any international obligations; monitor the performance of procurement bodies with respect to adherence to regulations and efficiency in procuring goods and services and execution of works; approve of procedures for public procurement, disseminate rules and procedures for public procurement and recommend modifications thereto to the public procurement entities.”