Will President address questionable practices at Agriculture Ministry?

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Dear Editor,

The President will need to intervene at the NDIA of Ministry of Agriculture to address flagrant questionable practices? Information has come to light that staff are being penalised at NDIA and Ministry of Agriculture and that the tendering process of contracts as well as opening of bids will be done in secret. Is this to facilitate corruption at Ministry of Agriculture? Agriculture is very critical to economy especially that the country is being robbed of oil revenues. One cannot close the eyes and zip the lip to what is happening at the Ministry.

An engineer at the Procurement Department was removed, banished to Berbice.  He was penalised for sharing minutes of the tender opening process with biding contractors. Sharing of minutes of bid openings is a normal part of his duty in the procurement department. This is not a closed, secretive process. Once bids are opened, the bid opening record becomes public documents. Bidders are entitled to receive minutes of the bid opening to determine whether there were violations to file a complaint with Procurement Commission; if a contractor files a complaint with PC, he is victimised. The procurement engineer was punished for making available the minutes of bids to contractors for review; that is not a punishable offense but a laudable act.

The contract of Fenoa Durant, head of Procurement, is not being renewed because she has gone on maternity leave. Frederick Flatts has been on a month-to-month contract under this government. Why are these three staff members treated unprofessionally?

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The opening of bids requires sharing of minutes of the process. Why are some officials determined to block release of information? Why does NDIA and procurement want a secretive operation? Is it to facilitate bid manipulation and unfettered corruption?

President Irfaan Ali committed after his swearing in that he would be President of all of Guyana and that he will preside over a corrupt free administration especially on tendering. That being his commitment, isn’t it past time for his intervention in the goings on at NDIA and Ministry of Agriculture?

Yours truly,

Jillian Adams



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