Guyana is much closer to establishing a Public Procurement Commission 14 years after the constitution was amended to provide for that oversight body.
When the National Assembly meets on Thursday, August 4, 2016, parliamentarians will adopt the report of the Public Accounts Committee and signify to the President that the quintet has been recommended in keeping with the Guyana Constitution.
After considering 12 names, a sub-committee of the Public Accounts Committee under the chairmanship of Irfaan Ali recommended five persons as “the suitable candidates to be appointed to the Public Procurement Commission.”
They are Engineer and Attorney-at-Law, Emily Dodson; wife of former People’s National Congress Reform leader, Carol Corbin; Economist, Sukrishnalall Pasha who worked at the Bank of Guyana and the University of Guyana; Principal of the Critchlow Labour College, Ivor English and former People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) government minister and Industrial Relations expert, Dr. Nanda K. Gopaul.
The Constitution states that the Public Procurement Commission shall consist of five members who shall have expertise and experience in procurement, legal, financial and administrative matters.
Among those not making it to be Public Procurement Commission members are Attorney-at-Law and Chartered Accountant, Christopher Ram and former Auditor General, Anand Goolsarran both of whom had been in the forefront of calls for the establishment of the body.
Others also shortlisted but did not get the final nod are Balwant Persaud, Devan Khemraj, Brindley Horatio Robeson Benn, Cecil Jerrard, Jacques and Lance Carberry.
The establishment of the Public Procurement Commission will bring to an end Cabinet’s role in the award of multi-million dollar contracts. There will also no longer be the need for the Bid Protest Committee and there will be a limit to the responsibilities of the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board.
The delay in establishing the Procurement Commission had been held partly because the PPPC had still insisted that Cabinet should have had a role to play in the spending of millions of dollars in public funds.