NA Town Council flouts Procurement Act

first_imgThe New Amsterdam Town Council has been flouting the Procurement Act in awarding contracts. This is according to regional officials who stated that the minutes of the Council’s statutory meeting for the month ending June 30, 2018, shows that nine contracts were handed out without a bidding process. According to the minutes of the meeting, the Town Council had not been tendering for contracts and has issued several contracts amounting to over $37 million in the month of June.According to the documents shown to Guyana Times, one of the contracts was for $9.1 million to carry out repairs to the municipal market wharf. Another was for repairs to the same wharf to the tune of $4.2 million and another contract for repairs to the very market wharf for the sum of $16.3 million.The minutes also showed that it was the Councillors who decided to give the contracts to the individuals without allowing others to bid for them.At that meeting, the Town’s Treasurer, Kerryanne Edwards, told the Councillors that she was told at the last financial meeting that what the Council was doing as it relates to the tendering process was incorrect.She also reported that contractor Shawn David had already completed the first and second phases of the municipal wharf and he thought he would have been awarded the full contract.“Edwards went on to say that she informed the Town Clerk about same and was told that she was informed that all of the works on the work pragramme had to be advertised. After Councillors would have shared their views on the matter, all were in agreement of having Mr David complete the third phase of the municipal wharf,” the minutes read.Meanwhile, under the Laws of Guyana – Municipal and District Councils Act 28:10 Section 97 – the Council before entering into any contract for the execution of any work or the supply of any goods to the value of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars or more, give notice of such proposed contract and shall, by such notice, invite any person willing to undertake the same to submit a sealed tender.The Act also says the Council shall not open or consider any tender.A regional official informed this publication that it is the Regional Tender Board which should be looking at those contracts and not the Town Council. The official noted that the Council could have a representative sit of that Board.There is no provision in the law for municipalities or Neighbourhood Democratic Councils to have their own tender board, the official added.Under the Procurement Act which is gazetted and dated Thursday, February 18, 2016, regional tender boards can only consider contracts for construction up to $14 million. Anything above that has to go to the National Tender Board. (Andrew Carmichael)last_img read more