Procurement Commissioners draw super salaries despite inactive Commission

Last Updated on Friday, 10 February 2017, 14:27 by Derwayne Wills

Although the public procurement commissioners were appointed by President Granger and paid monthly super salaries since last October, the Commission remains inactive due to the lack of staff for its work.

Once the commission comes into being, it will assume Cabinet’s responsibility of granting No Objections to multi-million and billion dollar contracts for public infrastructure work.

Cabinet Secretary and State Minister Joseph Harmon told the press corps today the procurement commission has not been functioning because of lack of staff. He said advertisements were put out for a Chief Executive Officer as well as ancillary staff.

Harmon said although he has not seen any payslips, the Commissioners would be paid their full salaries since their appointments by President Granger.

“Cabinet will stop granting No Objections when the public procurement commission is ready to work,” Harmon told the press corps today during the post Cabinet press briefing.

The commissioners were sworn in October last before President David Granger.

Those commissioners include wife of former Opposition Leader Robert Corbin, Carol Corbin; University of Guyana lecturer and economist, Sukrishnalall Pasha; former Labour Minister under the PPP government, Nanda Gopaul; Critchlow Labour College Principal Ivor Brunette English, and Attorney-at-law, Emily Dodson.

Up to recently, Corbin served as a senior administrator at the CARICOM Secretariat here.

Sources in the National Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) told Demerara Waves Online News some time ago 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.

Harmon told the press corps he could not confirm when the vacant positions at the procurement commission will be filled, but those advertisement of vacancies have been made.

Part of Guyana’s updated procurement process was the establishment of a Bid Protest Committee, which came into effect last year.

The committee includes Archibald Clifton, a former senior manager at the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company; insurance official, Ewart Adams; and Colin Sawh, a security company Official.

The Chairperson of that Committee is Joann Bond, a lawyer nominated by Attorney General Basil Williams SC.

Harmon said Cabinet recently approved a fee of $80,000 to be paid to the chairperson of that Committee, and $60,000 for other members. These payments will be made for every case that is reviewed by the Committee.

In addition, Harmon said, each request for contract review attracts a non-refundable fee of $50,000 plus 1% of the complainants bid price.

The public procurement commission was a major concern for both the A Partnership for National Unity and the Alliance For Change while the two parties were in opposition.