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As each new day dawns it becomes increasingly crystal clear that GUYSUCO is embarking on more
wastage of taxpayers’ monies.
The Vice President had promised in November 2021 that Guysuco’s Management will be fortified
and that this does not depend on whether the CEO ‘stays or not’. Months down the line it is the CEO
who is now strengthened and empowered to do as he pleases embarking on wasteful spending, the
recent Cabinet decision to purchase the unsuitable articulated to perform tillage operations is
another prime example and another costly one is the decision to increase the LGRP application on
the estates by nearly 100 percent.
The CEO had said that he worked hard ‘to implement the spirit and letter of Section 24 of the
Procurement Act’. However, the ‘spirit’ of the law will suggest that the procurement of assets should
bring benefits to the procuring entity. If the items so procured do not benefits the entity but results
in wastage of financial resources, is it enough that the ‘letter’ of the laws is being stringently
applied? The spirit of the law is the aim or purpose of the law when it was written and this is what
needs to be understood. In its Preamble the Procurement Act speaks about promoting the objective
of ‘maximizing economy and efficiency in procurement’ and this is echoed by Guysuco’s
Procurement Manual which went further and speaks about ‘the execution of works of right quality
at the right time and at right prices’ and specifically states that the objective is ‘maximizing
economy, efficiency and effectiveness in procurement’.
The procurement of the highly controversial articulated and the spending of $200 million and then
$1.6 billion (a total of $1.8 billion) clearly is against the spirit of both the Procurement Act and
Guysuco’s Procurement Policies, Procedures and Rules. The Report which was submitted on the
articulated tractors and the big controversy created at the last Board meeting which led to the
resignation of the Chairman caused a rift in the Board and the dissenting voices were smothered.
The articulated tractors are not the capable of executing ‘the right quality’ of works and are clearly
not ‘at the right prices’. It has been proven that the John Deere tractors can do both ploughing and
harrowing, the articulated ones could only do harrowing and although it may be slightly more
efficient at harrowing, its operating costs are more and what is more alarming is that the price is
twice that of the John Deere. There goes the ‘spirit’.
The CEO made a statement which is meant to mask the reality when he said that he commits no act
without Cabinet’s approval. And he does not act without permission, ‘Whatever Cabinet says, I jump.
I don’t’ do anything without written permission’. What the CEO failed to highlight is the fact that the
evaluation report is submitted by the Corporation and that report would have recommended the
purchase of the articulated tractors and that ‘Cabinet may only object to the award the procurement
contract if it determines that the Corporation failed to comply with applicable procurement
procedures’ (Guysuco Manual Volume 2 Sections 43.1 and 43.2). The reality is that these tractors are
unsuitable and costly and the supplier may not be able to deliver because of the precarious financial
position the Company currently faces.
Another costly and wasteful venture which will amount to wastage of more than $500 million in the
procurement of Low Grade Rock Phosphate (LGRP). In an email dated 16 th June, 2022, the CEO
agreed with Dr Homenauth that the formula currently used as the basis of liming requirements for
Guysuco is correct and only a minor adjustment is required and that was to increase the CaCo3
content. Based on this recommended calculation only 25% more LGRP is required. However, the CEO
passed an instruction that the LGRP application on the estates will increase from 3 tonnes per
hectare to 6 tonnes per hectare-a 100% increase. Therefore, the procurement of LGRP will be
doubled. Why this willful wastage? Are we ‘maximizing economy, efficiency and effectiveness in
procurement’ at Guysuco?
It is apparent that there is no regard for our taxpayers’ dollars and the Treasury is readily available to
be looted. This Government must act decisively now rather than later.