U-17s outclassed once again

January 20, 2020


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first_imgJamaica’s Under-17 team was blanked 3-0 by their Canadian counterparts in the first of their two friendly matches at Winchester Park, North Street, Kingston, yesterday. The young Reggae Boyz, who are preparing for the CONCACAF final round in Panama next April to May, lost their previous two practice games to the United States, going down 3-0 and 4-0 in two matches earlier this month. Yesterday, the Andrew Edwards-coached team went behind courtesy of Jordon Faria’s 16th-minute strike. Alphonso Davies put the visitors 2-0 up after 37 minutes, and Yohan Lebourhis sealed the win for the visitors with another goal on 47 minutes. The young Jamaicans will face the Canadians in the second game of their two-match series tomorrow at UWI Bowl at 3 p.m.last_img read more

Regional procurement breaches linked to corruption, nepotism

January 12, 2020


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first_imgOpposition Member of Parliament, Juan Edghill has decried the constant breaches in the Procurement Act of Guyana, which he argued was as a result of corruption and nepotism although he admitted that these kinds of breaches were not peculiar to Guyana as they occurred in other parts of the world.Edghill further argued that while Central Government was guilty of some of the most egregious breaches, several regional administrations throughout the country were also culpable, especially those where a majority of the officials were closely associated with the coalition Government.He said the ulterior motive was to have hundreds of contracts to the value of billions of dollars handed to cronies and campaign financiers. “It is clear that regional and other subordinate officials are following the example of the top bosses,” he stated.In making reference to serious breaches in the Procurement Act in Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara) that were discovered by the Auditor General’s Office, Edghill said this was just one region where the issue existed.According to the Act, an award of a contract should be made to the lowest responsive evaluated bid. The former Junior Finance Minister explained that in the procurement process, the evaluation committee evaluated all the bids and ensured that they satisfied all the requirements before awarding the contract.The Auditor General had pointed out that an examination of the evaluation reports for a sample has revealed that in 22 instances, contracts were not awarded to the lowest or most competitive bidders, despite the evaluation committee recommending the lowest evaluated bidder in each instance.In addition, no reasons were given in the Tender Board minutes as to why the recommendations of that committee were not followed. Edghill said the report also pointed to one example, which involved the fixing of a structure at Pouderoyen. Twenty-four bids were submitted and the award went to the ninth bidder.The Opposition MP, who sits on the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) at Parliament, said these issues were now coming to light during their regular weekly sittings and this was just one prime example. He noted that the PAC continued to find many breaches of the Procurement Act at other regions also.Training conferences have been held with the Regional Executive Officers (REOs) through the Finance Ministry, the Ministry of the Presidency and Communities Ministry. The Communities Ministry, which has direct responsibility for the REOs, has repeatedly emphasised to these regional officials the importance of staying within the boundaries of the law and the Public Procurement Act.Last month, PAC Chairman Irfaan Ali slammed Region Two REO Rupert Hopkinson for being aware of breaches of the law, but going ahead with the projects out of the belief that they were in the best interest of the Region. Ali proposed to the Finance Secretary that disciplinary measures be pursued against him.Hopkinson is under fire for using savings from Current Expenditures in order to execute capital projects in Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam). Such actions must have the approval of Finance Minister Winston Jordan.The projects included the construction of a bus shed at Dartmouth, construction of the Anna Regina Health Centre, construction of a fence at Unity Park Phase One, construction of a fence at Unity Park Phase Two, construction of a sitting area at Cotton Field, and construction of a landing at Liberty, Pomeroon.And only one week ago, Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo) officials were asked to leave the chambers after they failed to answer PAC questions regarding issues raised in the Auditor General’s Report. At the last PAC sitting, chaired by MP Pauline Sukhai, Region Nine REO Kerwin Warde was questioned on the Region’s procurement of drugs through interdepartmental warrants (IDWs). Warde could not even provide definitive details on the reconciliation from the Materials Management Unit (MMU) of the Public Health Ministry, as recommended by the Auditor General in 2016.In response, Warde indicated that he could not answer that question. At this point, Sukhai upbraided the REO, noting that on appearing before the Committee, he had a duty to come prepared to answer whatever questions were put to him. Describing Warde’s statement as unacceptable, Sukhai asked him to confer with his support staff to get the information.The Audit Office had recommended that the Regional Administration put systems in place to reconcile supplies received by the respective health facilities with the drugs’ lists initially submitted. It had also advised that the Region obtain the cost of the drugs and medical supplies from the Ministry, so as to reconcile the value of the drugs and medical supplies received with that of the sum warranted to the Ministry.last_img read more