PPP raises concerns about collusion, price fixing and other corrupt practices
People’s Progressive Party has brought to the public’s attention what it deems to be “flagrant violations and breaches of the procurement laws by the APNU/AFC”
In a statement, the Party said, recent Cabinet decision to award multi-million dollar awards for the supply of drugs, was done outside procurement laws, an in one instance, an award was given to a family member of a senior government official.
The statement reads as follows:
The People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) expresses grave concerns, over the continued flagrant violations and breaches of the procurement laws by the APNU/ AFC Administration, as it relates to tendering and award of contracts, specifically, in the public health sector.
A recent announcement by the Ministry of the Presidency stated that Cabinet has awarded multi-million dollar contracts to specific suppliers for the procurement of medical supplies. These suppliers are: Trans Continental Medical Products Limited (TCMPL) - $675,575 USD, Western Scientific Company Limited - $ 154,154 USD, Caribbean Medical Supplies Inc - $27.3M, Eureka Medical Laboratories Incorporated - $92.1M and Diamed Caribbean Incorporated - $94,659 USD.
As is required by law, contracts of these magnitudes should be properly advertised, companies are required to tender, an evaluation is done, and an award is made to the bidder which satisfies all criteria. Unfortu- nately, there is no evidence to suggest, that this process has been followed, which raises concerns about the possibility of collusion, price fixing and other corrupt practices. One of the companies involved has had a track record of collusion and was blacklisted by the Government, yet this blacklisted company is now being awarded a hefty contract. In another instance one of the local companies that received a huge contract, we have been reliably informed has a family member in a se- nior position at the Ministry of Public Health, which raises the question of conflict of interests, insider trading and other corrupt practices.
In the light of repeated scandals regarding the procurement of drugs and medical supplies; where a Minister was sent to the Committee of Privileges of the National Assembly for covering up nefarious practices; the recent scandals involving another Minister, where over $600M of drugs and medical supplies were sole sourced by GPHC and many other repeated violations, one is left to wonder whether there is any intention by the Granger led Administration to comply with our procurement laws. In the face of these repeated breaches, we call on the international community, especially the donors whose resources are sometimes used to fund these contracts to be more vigilant.
This is another case for immediate investigation and public disclosure by the Public Procurement Commission (PPC).