Christopher Ram moves to Court to block gov’t contracts over GYD$15 million

Last Updated on Friday, 8 March 2019, 20:13 by Writer

The Ministry of the Presidency, the venue for the post no-confidence talks between President David Granger and Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo on Wednesday, January 9.

Attorney-at-law and Chartered Accountant, Christopher Ram on Friday asked the High Court to block the award of government contracts worth more than GYD$15 million.

Through his lawyers, including Anil Nandlall, Ram also wants the High Court to declare that all such contracts that were awarded since the no-confidence motion was passed on December 21, 2o18 were “unconstitutional, unlawful, null, void and is of no legal effect.”

The basis for Ram’s position is that all Cabinet functions ceased since the motion was passed in keeping with Chief Justice Roxane George-Wiltshire’s decision in January concerning the validity of the no-confidence motion.

Hoping that the High Court find that all government procurement (contracts) of more than GYD$15 million require Cabinet’s review and approval, Ram also wants the court to declare that there is no Cabinet to review or award such contracts in keeping with 54 (1) of the Procurement Act, Cap. 73:05.

Ram wants the High Court to rule that the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of the Presidency and Permanent Secretaries within all Government Ministries “be restrained from making any payment towards any procurement (contract) in excess of GYD$15 million approved by a purported Cabinet after the evening of 21st December, 2018.”

The Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, has said all ministers have been meeting as a Ministerial Plenary.

Gazetted decisions have been filed under the name of the Secretary to the Ministerial Plenary instead of the constitutionally-stated post of Secretary to the Cabinet.