5 including Bar Association President tipped for Public Procurement Commission

Guyana is one step closer to having the Public Procurement Commission (PPC) set up, with at least five persons being tipped to be appointed as Commissioners following the meeting of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Sub-Committee on Wednesday.

Rajnarine Singh

According to information reaching this publication, those five persons are Attorney-at Law Pauline Chase; Economist Rawle Lucas; Financial Analyst Joel Bhagwandin; Berkley Wickham and Rajnarine Singh. In an interview with this publication, PAC Chairman Jermaine Figueira explained that the names will be further discussed next week.
“There might be changes or there might not be changes, if the names are accepted or not. But as it is now, those are the proposed names… the process will have to be followed. And whatever the outcome is, I’ll accept that in the interest of the commission being established to be operational.”

Former GRA Chairman, Rawle Lucas

According to Figueira, the names were arrived at following the meeting of the PAC Sub-Committee. During the sub-committee meeting, representatives of both the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) and the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) sides of the PAC settled on the five names from a list of eight names. Those eight names in turn came from a list of over 20 names.

Financial Analyst, Joel Bhagwandin

“That’s a very important commission and even though names are suggested, there is a possibility that persons might want to have other persons be given greater consideration. But as it is, those are the names.”

Bar Association President Pauline Chase

Pauline Chase currently serves as President of the Guyana Bar Association (GBA), while Bhagwandin is the former director of the Private Sector Commission (PSC). Up until 2021, Wickham served as the Chairman of the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB) and Lucas formerly served as Chairman of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA).
Previously, the PPC had as its members Chairperson Carol Corbin, Ivor English, Nanda Gopaul, Sukrishnalall Pasha and Emily Dodson. While the life of the commission ended in 2019, Corbin was retained until 2020.

Former NPTAB Chairman, Berkley Wickham

Among the PPC’s key functions are, according to the Procurement Act, to “Monitor and review the functioning of all procurement systems to ensure that they are in accordance with law and such policy guidelines as may be determined by the National Assembly; promote awareness of the rules, procedures and special requirements of the procurement process among suppliers, constructors and public bodies; safeguard the national interest in public procurement matters, having due regard to any international obligations; monitor the performance of procurement bodes with respect to adherence to regulations and efficiency in procuring goods and services and execution of works; approve of procedures for public procurement, disseminate rules and procedures for public procurement; and recommend modifications thereto to the public procurement entities.”
The PPC has in the past intervened in contracts when there was a discrepancy with the procurement of the contractor. One of the most famous cases of this was the sole sourced consultant for the design and feasibility study of the new Demerara River Bridge.
The Procurement Commission conducted a probe into the award of the feasibility study and design contract and had flagged the then Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson for requesting from Cabinet that the $148 million contract be sole-sourced. This subsequently resulted in them calling in the Auditor General. (G3)