The Chairman and Vice Chairman of the recently-sworn in Public Procurement Commission (PPC) have been unanimously agreed to and the salaries fixed for that five-member body that is now responsible for the award of multi-million contracts.
The Chair is Ms Carol Corbin, up to recently a very senior administrator at the Guyana-based Caribbean Community (Caricom) Secretariat and wife of former People’s National Congress Reform leader, Robert Corbin.
The Vice Chairman is Dr. Nan Kishore Gopaul, a former Labour Minister in the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) administration and former trade unionist with the National Association of Agricultural Commercial Industrial Employees (NAACIE). At one stage, he had led the small Guyana Labour Party (GLP).
Sources said “there was no disagreement” with the nominations.
Sources in the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) told Demerara Waves Online News that Corbin’s salary as Chairperson is likely to be about GY$1.3 million plus security. Gopaul’s salary could be about GYD$1.1 million plus telephone allowances. All the other commissioners could be earning at least GYD$900,000 per month.
They will all be entitled to duty free concessions, entertainment allowances and a telephone allowance of about GYD$10,000 each, according to the parliamentary sources.
The other commissioners, who were unanimously picked , are Economist, Sukrishnalall Pasha; Principal of the Critchlow Labour College, Ivor English and Attorney-at-Law and Engineer, Emily Dodson. English is a martime expert and former Director General of Guyana’s Maritime Administration and Dodson is a former executive member of the PNCR and former President of the Guyana Association of Women Lawyers.
President David Granger has already told the PPC Commissioners that :“The Government of Guyana iterates its commitment to the principles of accountability and transparency in the conduct of public business. The establishment of the Commission evinces the importance of ensuring equity and fairness in public procurement. I congratulate you –the members the members of the Public Procurement Commission – and urge you all to be faithful to the oath you have just sworn. I charge you with upholding the constitutional duty of the Public Procurement Commission in being independent, impartial and fair,” he was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the Ministry of the Presidency.
The PPC removes Cabinet’s role in the award of contracts for GYD$5 million and more.
Among the PPC’s key functions are, according to the Procurement Act, to “Monitor and review the functioning of all procurement systems to ensure that they are in accordance with 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 bodes 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.”
A Public Procurement Tribunal is to be established to address concerns by aggrieved bidders, similar to the Bid Protest Committee.