PAC deliberates on remuneration for top procurement body officers

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has deliberated on the terms of conditions and remuneration of top three officers to be employed by the Public Procurement Commission (PPC).

Stabroek News understands that at its last meeting last Monday, the PAC decided, among other things, that the CEO is to be paid no more than $700,000 a month, while the Head of Corporate Services and Head of Operations were to be paid no more than $500,000 a month.

Clerk of the National Assembly Sherlock Isaacs told this newspaper last week that the PAC has discussed the terms and conditions of employment for the posts.

He explained that his office is awaiting a report from the committee to be tabled in the National Assembly for approval.

Carol Corbin

Last month, Chairman of the PAC Irfaan Ali told Stabroek News that the committee had not yet received any information in relation to the appointment of the CEO for the commission.

Asked to explain the procedure through which the recommended CEO of the PPC would be approved by the National Assembly, he had 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 that she had made the necessary submission on February 3, 2017.

Corbin explained that she sent a report to the Clerk of the National Assembly with an attached letter to Ali.

She explained that in submitting the report to Isaacs, she attached a letter asking that he make the appropriate arrangements to have it approved by the National Assembly.

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 last year advertised several positions and noted that it would be unable to begin its work until these positions were filled.

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.”

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