I just read an online article published by the Guyana Times under the caption: `Son, son-in-law of senior Region 9 official get millions worth of contracts.’ (sic)
The article seeks to mislead and cast aspersions on that “senior official” and the two mentioned contractors. It also deliberately left out a small detail about the award of contracts last year.
The senior official alluded to is the Regional Executive Officer, Carl Parker. His son is Rauldon Torres, who is actually the son of his late wife. His son-in-law is Keith Anthony, who shares a common law relationship with his daughter, Mary Parker.
What is important here is that none of these persons live with the REO. Furthermore, when situations like these arise, the REO, or any member of the Tender Board, under my watch, whose family members tender for a contract, recuses themselves from the decision-making process.
That was evident recently, when Tender Board member, Mr. Maucir Baretto, left the meeting when a close family member’s application came under discussion. That is the rule rather than the exception.
These family members are born and bred Rupununians and are contractors by trade. Consequently, they are entitled, like any other Guyanese, to take part in the affairs of their country, region, or community. The issue is that once due process is followed, the law would have been observed.
Unless of course, Guyana Times is insinuating that these contractors must be excluded altogether because of the principle of “guilty by association”, and that the REO must maintain his extended family out of his meagre resources.
What I find strange is the fact that last year while the Regional Vice Chairman, Karl Singh, was a sitting member of the Board, his father-in-law, his two brothers-in-law and his wife all got contracts from the same Tender Board. Guyana Times did not report that. And what’s more is that Mr. Singh did not recuse himself from the deliberations.
The contracts awarded to one house then were as follows:
Father-in-law: Repairs to Kaicumbay Road – 9.6M
Construction of School furniture – 4.2M
Construction of Marabunta Creek Bridge – 8.3M
Brother-in-law 1: Construction of fence at Tiperu Primary School – 3.8M
Construction of fence at Kwaimatta Health Post – 3.8M
Brother-in-law 2: Repairs to Quatata Health Post – 2.4M
Wife: Construction of Culvert and head walls Achawib – 4.3M
It must be noted that Brother-in-law 2 is a teacher and was awarded a contract.
So Guyana Times will do well to report fairly and entirely, and stop being a mouthpiece for vested interests.
Regional Executive Officer,
Upper Takutu/Upper Essequibo