Education ministry breached procurement procedures for security service tender

Dear Editor,

I was most appalled to read a letter written by Mr Julius Williams published in the Guyana Chronicle on April 14, under the headline ‘Education Ministry should re-tender those bids’.

Williams’s letter exposed the flagrant breach of proper procurement procedures by the Ministry of Education in the handling of tenders for security services. An obscure security firm with no track record in the business won the contract, while upstanding security firms were sidelined. How does the ministry explain that other bidders were omitted from the process? How come only Neville Spence and Inter Service Enterprise Security attended the bid opening, much to the surprise of other security company representatives who only discovered that there was another open competitive bidding when they went to witness the opening of sealed bids for the provision of security services for the Dependents Pension Fund?

RK’s Security Services was one of the security firms that discovered this irregularity at that same time. What justification can the ministry come up with to explain what happened? Was this intended to deprive bidders of the opportunity to get the contract? Did someone benefit from inside information about this tender?

RK’s Security has had its share of experience with the Ministry of Education. In 2017, we successfully bid for a contract with that ministry and, after being told we were successful, spent huge sums of money preparing to fulfil our responsibilities. We engaged and recruited security officers, bought uniforms, provided quality training and obtained a performance bond. But after all our expenditure, we were told that the contract had been terminated for ‘convenience’ with just a few hours’ notice given before we were to commence. Utter and gross disrespect! This matter is now before the Supreme Court.

I am inviting all the other security companies affected to contact me so that we can organise a class action lawsuit against the Ministry of Education and the Government of Guyana. I have a feeling that if we band together and present a united front we can win this case. Think of how interesting it would be to get the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Mr Vibert Welch in the witness box.

Further, I would like to encourage all the aggrieved parties and members of the Guyana Association of Private Security Organizations (GAPSO) to join together and conduct picketing exercises at the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of the Presidency. I am prepared to even lead the team for this cause, and assist with its mobilization.

I am not afraid to state openly that this incident and others like it indicate that there are certain people involved in the national tendering process who are unprincipled, particularly at the Ministry of Education that has the power to award contracts at schools all over Guyana. I also believe that there is some amount of political favouritism at play.

Justice must not only be done it must also be seen to be done. This is not the case with security tenders at the Ministry of Education. This questionable tender should be revoked at once and a new, clean bidding process must start immediately. There must also be an official inquiry into how this absurd situation occurred in the first place.

I will work with Mr Williams and all other affected parties to make sure that justice is done and the culprits are held accountable. Enough is enough.

Yours faithfully,

Roshan Khan Sr

RK’s Guyana Security Services

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