52 scan­dals un­der APNU/AFC

Weekend Mirror - - EDITORIAL -

ex­posed will be close to $1Bil­lion­for a one day event.

8) Septem­ber to De­cem­ber 2015

The Pres­i­dent par­doned over 100 con­victed felons in 2015 and stated that this would be done an­nu­ally. He promised that these would be felons with non-vi­o­lent crimes and ju­ve­nile of­fend­ers. In fact this was not true. A num­ber of these per­sons had been sen­tenced for vi­o­lent crimes and a num­ber of them are back in prison.

The par­lia­men­tary op­po­si­tion ques­tioned the cri­te­ria and process used to se­lect these per­sons who were par­doned but the Speaker de­nied the ques­tions be­ing put “as an abuse of ques­tion­ing”.

9) late last De­cem­ber 2015

The RUDISA case at the Caribbean Court of Jus­tice (CCJ) and the pay out to RUDISA- The APNU and AFC twice caused the de­feat in the 10th Par­lia­ment of attempts by the PPPC gov­ern­ment to amend the Cus­toms Act in or­der to pre-empt the case go­ing to the CCJ and save the coun­try mil­lions of US dol­lars.

The APNU+AFC Coali­tion gov­ern­ment set­tled to re­pay the en­tire amount of RUDISA USD$16M claim without any ne­go­ti­a­tions for a debt repayment sched­ule and de­spite the fact that the com­pany owed and ap­pears to still owe mil­lions of dol­lars in taxes to Guyana.

The first pay­ment to RUDISA was made late last year and the second bud­geted for in the 2016 Bud­get.

10) Septem­ber 2015 – April 2016

Hun­dreds of Mil­lions of dol­lars spent by the Gov­ern­ment and the Ge­orge­town Mayor and City Coun­cil on the “Clean Up Cam­paign” in the city with no pub­lic ten­der­ing and hand­picked com­pa­nies. In some cases, new com­pa­nies were cre­ated with no ex­pe­ri­ence to fa­cil­i­tate this cor­rup­tion. There has been no ac­count­abil­ity of the amount of monies spent and the Mayor and Town Clerk have re­buffed ef­forts to al­low the Au­di­tor Gen­eral’s of­fice to do a foren­sic au­dit.

11) March/April 2016

The write off of debts owed to Guyana Rev­enue Author­ity (GRA) and the na­tion by DDL worth bil­lions of dol­lars (April 2016).If DDL did not issue a press re­lease an­nounc­ing the write off this would not have been known.

12) April 2016

Other writes off of debts to the GRA by other com­pa­nies, who fi­nanced the APNU+AFC Coali­tion elec­toral cam­paign, worth hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars. Min­is­ter Trot­man said these com­pa­nies have to be com­pen­sated for their fi­nan­cial in­vest­ment dur­ing the elec­tion cam­paign to the APNUAFC Coali­tion.

13) April 2016

Fol­low­ing the March 18, 2016 Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Elec­tions, Min­is­ter Bulkan in vi­o­la­tion of the stat- utes gov­ern­ing the lo­cal gov­ern­ment sys­tem, ap­pointed the Mayor and Deputy Mayor, and the 5 Chair­per­sons and vice chair­per­sons of the 5 NDCs in the 6 tied Lo­cal Author­ity Ar­eas (LAAs). All of these per­sons were APNU although there was a plu­ral­ity of votes in 3 of the 6 tied LAAs for the PPP and 3 for the APNU+AFC.

( Up­date note: The mat­ter was taken to court and has not been heard yet, 2017)

14) April-May 2016

Write offs by the APNU+AFC dom­i­nated Ge­orge­town Mu­nic­i­pal Coun­cil to many com­pa­nies for mil­lions of dol­lars owed in rates and taxes for undis­closed amounts. This is a City Coun­cil that is now cash- strapped and can­not pay con­trac­tors for garbage col­lec­tion nor timely pay­ment of salaries of its em­ploy­ees.

The cost to the Trea­sury of these write offs by the GRA, Ge­orge­town Mu­nic­i­pal Coun­cil and other Lo­cal Author­ity Ar­eas alone ear­marked in this list of scan­dals is es­ti­mated to be be­tween 23% to 36 % of the to­tal 2016 Bud­get.

15) April 2016- present (Oc­to­ber 2016)

Park­ing me­ters con­tract-with no pub­lic ten­der­ing, no in­volve­ment of the Ge­orge­town City Coun­cil, no con­sul­ta­tion with the cit­i­zens – the scan­dal deep­ens, even as the APNU+AFC Ge­orge­town Mayor is be­ing ad­vised to do some dam­age con­trol by at­tempt­ing to amend the 49 year con­tract and make it less em­bar­rass­ing for the gov­ern­ment. (Up­date Note: In 2017 it was paused due to the pub­lic out­cry and the vi­brant cit­i­zens’ ini­tia­tive, Move­ment against the Park­ing Me­ters. Re­cent state­ments by the Town Clerk that the me­ters will be in op­er­a­tion soon, has brought issue back on the agenda).

16) July-Au­gust 2016

The 3 year Phar­macy Bond con­tract be­tween the Min­istry of Pub­lic Health and the Lin­den Hold­ing Com­pany was not ten­dered for by Min­is­ter Dr Nor­ton’s own ad­mis­sion on the floor of the Na­tional As­sem­bly. The PPP/C will be sub­mit­ting its mo­tion of priv­i­lege call­ing for the Speaker to send the Min­is­ter of Pub­lic Health to the Priv­i­lege Com­mit­tee for wil­fully mis­lead­ing the Na­tional As­sem­bly and the na­tion. (Up­date note: Min­is­ter was taken be­fore the Priv­i­lege Com­mit­tee chaired by the Speaker and to date the issue has not been ad­dressed by the ma­jor­ity APNUAFC dom­i­nated com­mit­tee)

17) Jan­uary 2016-Au­gust 2016

The GoG/ BK In­ter­na­tional set­tle­ment of $1.17 B for Haggs Bosche-The Min­istry of Com­mu­ni­ties’ set­tle­ment of $1.17B to BK In­ter­na­tional for the Haags Bosche project came to light as a re­sult of a Sup­ple­men­tary Fi­nan­cial Pa­per on Au­gust 8th 2016 where the coun­try learnt that this set­tle­ment was made and would be paid in three tranches, even though the court did not award costs to BK Int’l. The gov­ern­ment paid BK Int’l the first third of the pay­ment in Jan­uary 2016 which begs the ques­tion - where did this money come from? It was not pro­vided for in the 2015 bud­get, nor was there any SFP in the in­terim nor in the 2016 Bud­get or since to cover this first pay­ment of G$500M. The Au­gust Sup­ple­men­tary Fi­nan­cial Pa­per cov­ers the pay­ment of the second tranche of $501M to BK int’l from the Con­sol­i­dated Fund. The third pay­ment the Min­is­ter stated would be re­flected in the 2017 bud­get. This is a scan­dal like the RUDISA and the DDL write offs.

In­ter­est­ing and of note is that BK In­ter­na­tional is be­ing paid the en­tire $10 MUSD for the con­tract though BK Int’l only worked for 3 of the 5 years of the con­tract at sub­stan­dard work. The PPP/C gov­ern­ment had ter­mi­nated the con­tract due to sub­stan­dard work and de­lays. Min­is­ters Bulkan and Patterson late 2015 both pub­licly stated that BK Int’l had done sub­stan­dard work on the project!

18) April and Au­gust 2016

Two (2) Fuel scan­dals re­lat­ing to the is­suance of fuel li­censes for the im­por­ta­tion of fuel to com­pa­nies that are made up of per­sons re­lated to top of­fi­cials or who are top of­fi­cials them­selves in the gov­ern­ment who have no fuel bonds, no stor­age fa­cil­i­ties and no of­fices.

The with­drawal of the fuel im­por­ta­tion li­cense to the Chi­nese com­pany which has in­vested mil­lions of US dol­lars for stor­age fa­cil­i­ties ap­pears to have been cal­cu­lated to make room for these al­ter­na­tive im­porters.

In Au­gust the second set of fuel li­censes came to light re­gard­ing li­censes is­sued to Dr. Van West Charles, CEO of Guyana Wa­ter Inc and other of­fi­cials un­der the name of a pri­vate com­pany.

It should be noted that an ap­pli­cant for a fuel li­cense has to ac­quire an En­vi­ron­men­tal Im­pact As­sess­ment (EIA) and 4 ad­di­tional li­cences-----pro­vi­sion of a bond un­der de­tailed spec­i­fi­ca­tions, trans­porta­tion, stor­age, im­por­ta­tion, and re­stric­tions on where fuel stor­age can be lo­cated. It nor­mally takes a long time for an ap­pli­cant to ob­tain all these li­censes---im­pos­si­ble to do so in 9 months. The li­censes were is­sued in the month that Van West Charles be­came CEO GWI and there­fore he had am­ple time to re­move him­self from the com­pany.

The me­dia is re­minded that right here at the par­lia­men­tary op­po­si­tion weekly press brief­ing sev­eral months ago, we had ex­posed this gen­tle­men’s role in so­lic­it­ing do­na­tions for pipes for the wells in Re­gion 9. As of to­day, the Brazil­ian con­trac­tors hired by GWI to dig 8 wells in the Rupu­nuni re­gion are un­able to pay their work­ers as they al­lege that GWI is not pay­ing them (the con­trac­tors).

19) Au­gust 2016

Con­sis­tent and fre­quent vi­o­la­tion of the Pro­cure­ment Act by line min­istries-- eg the Min­is­ter of Agri­cul­ture ad­mit­ted that the MOA nor the NDIA had gone out to ten­der for works to­talling $234M due to emer­gency works for El Nino and flood­ing in re­gions 2,3,4, 5,6, 8, 10. In fact these monies should have been pro­vided for in the SPF # 2 of 2016 from the Con­sol­i­dated Fund.

20) July and Au­gust 2016

Re­quests for in­for­ma­tion dur­ing ques­tions to Min­is­ters and ques­tions dur­ing the de­bate on the 2 SFPs on Au­gust 8th 2016 re­vealed that the govt min­is­ters’ will not re­lease con­tracts un­less they have the per­mis­sion of the other per­son/ com­pany/party to the con­tract. This is un­heard of and a vi­o­la­tion of the role of the leg­is­la­ture un­der the con­sti­tu­tion to hold the gov­ern­ment ac­count­able.

21) Septem­ber 2016

Un­der­min­ing the ju­di­cial process- the es­tab­lish­ment of a Pres­i­den­tial Tri­bunal to in­quire, in­ves­ti­gate and rec­om­mend whether Carvil Duncan, Chair­man of the Pub­lic Ser­vice Com­mis­sion, should be re­moved from of­fice for in­abil­ity to dis­charge his du­ties.

Since the charges against Mr Duncan are still pend­ing be­fore a Mag­is­trate of the Ge­orge­town Mag­is­trate’s court, the es­tab­lish­ment of this tri­bunal is pre­ma­ture, pre-emp­tive and re­pug­nant to the very “due process” to which the Pres­i­dent says that his Ad­min­is­tra­tion is com­mit­ted. ( Up­date note: one of the mat­ters still in court; re­mem­ber dur­ing this case, the AG Basil Wil­liams con­fronta­tion with Jus­tice Holder and the re­fusal of the Min­is­ter to apol­o­gise; an ex­am­ple of in­ter­fer­ence and bul­ly­ing of the ju­di­ciary).

22) Septem­ber 2016

The Au­di­tor Gen­eral’s special au­dit of GECOM’s ex­pen­di­ture in 2015 prior to the gen­eral and re­gional elec­tions—this is on-go­ing, with the use of sole sourc­ing by the GECOM es­ti­mated to amount to $700M in the months prior to the May 2015 elec­tions. How­ever, un­like in other in­ves­ti­ga­tions where the heads were sent on ad­min­is­tra­tive leave such as the Head of NICIL, Head of the NDIA, PS of the Min­istry of Le­gal Af­fairs, head of the Pub­lic Hospi­tal Ge­orge­town, to name a few, this CEO has not been sent off on ad­min­is­tra­tive leave.(si­lence on find­ings)

23) Fe­bru­ary – Septem­ber 2016

$240 M spent on re­fur­bish­ing the Kitty Mar­ket. Pho­to­graphic ev­i­dence ex­poses the cor­rup­tion by City Hall. There are no scope of works, es­ti­mates, etc that are avail­able and the project was not put to ten­der as the city has hired the work­ers and is im­ple­ment­ing the works itself. (Up­date note as of Au­gust 2017, a year and half later the mar­ket re­mains closed and works in­com­plete) 24) Septem­ber 2016

The award­ing of the con­tract for boxed juices for the school feed­ing pro­gramme to a Suri­namese bev­er­age com­pany owned by RUDISA that was not the low­est or even the second low­est re­ceived bid. The im­pact on the lo­cal farm­ers and man­u­fac­tur­ers will be felt. DDL has come out pub­licly to crit­i­cise this, so too, has another lo­cal com­pany, Guyana Bev­er­ages.

25) Septem­ber 2016

Award of the con­tract for quarry stone to a Suri­namese com­pany for the CJIA ex­pan­sion project will have tremen­dous im­pact on the lo­cal quar­ries. Toolsie Per­saud, one of the stone producers, has protested. There is more to come to light on this issue and this we have ear­marked as an emerging scan­dal where gov­ern­ment needs to pro­vide an­swers.

The me­dia will ob­serve that we have not dealt with the dis­crim­i­na­tory dis­missals of hun­dreds of em­ploy­ers in the pub­lic ser­vice and in the state en­ti­ties on the ba­sis of their eth­nic and as­sumed po­lit­i­cal af­fil­i­a­tion which started in June 2015 and is con­tin­u­ing un­abated. This we shall deal with in de­tail at another press brief­ing with facts.

In sum­mary t here­fore by month:

2- May 2015

5- July/De­cem­ber 2015 1-Septem­ber 2015 to April 2016 2- De­cem­ber 2015- May 2016 5- March/May 2016 5- July/Au­gust 2016

5- Septem­ber 2016

These scan­dals which have been un­cov­ered ex­pose a level of cor­rup­tion and dis­crim­i­na­tion that has not been seen since the Burn­ham era. The APNU+AFC gov­ern­ment lacks trans­parency and ac­count­abil­ity, and is pre­pared to un­der­mine and even vi­o­late the pro­cure­ment and fi­nan­cial laws of this coun­try as well as other con­sti­tu­tional pro­vi­sions and statu­tory pro­vi­sions”

That was what we ex­posed in Oc­to­ber 2016, 25 scan­dalous scan­dals and scams.

And the “scan­dalous scan­dals” con­tinue un­abated. The gov­ern­ment with their one seat ma­jor­ity be­lieves that they can get away with the lack of trans­parency and ac­count­abil­ity and down-right nepo­tism and cor­rup­tion with tax pay­ers’ money.

Since the Oc­to­ber 2016 re­port, the num­ber has dou­bled from 25 to 52 by Au­gust 16, 2017. You don’t believe me ? Here they are ( and let me add l may have missed a few or there are those we don’t know about yet):

26. Chicken im­por­ta­tion li­censes to non existent/ non registered com­pa­nies.

27. The Re­moval of 6,000 so­lar panels pur­chased for the Hin­ter­land House­hold Elec­tri­fi­ca­tion Pro­gramme and re-al­lo­cat­ing them for use at the Min­istry of the Pres­i­dency and State House.

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