Our democracy will be half-baked if people like Khemraj Ramjattan are allowed to make such inaccurate statements without a response. Therefore, it would be remiss of me to leave such a glaring misinformed position to go unremarked upon.
Stabroek News of May 4, 2019, reported: “Ramjattan sees nothing wrong in contract awards to Minister’s company”. What utter nonsense!
The law is very clear that when you procure goods on behalf of the people, you do it to promote the following objectives:
1. Maximise economy and efficiency in procurement. (How do we know that Videomega was not overpaid for services that could have been done cheaper by the competitors?)
2. Foster and encourage wider participation in the procurement process. (But this cannot happen if one company is exclusively offered the contract thereby shutting the competitor out)
3. Provide for fair and equitable treatment of all suppliers. (How can this be achieved when it appears that agents of the Ministers, under political instructions, choose only certain companies connected to these top officials to be the only suppliers of that service? Are the other suppliers being treated fairly and equitably?)
4. Promote the integrity of, and fairness and public confidence in the procurement process. (What integrity? Does it not appear that the entire milieu of these particular transactions is laced with cocktails of conflict of interest? How can the public have confidence in such a discriminatory process?)
5. Achieve transparency in the procurement process. (What transparency? If the information was not leaked and published, would there have been prior disclosure by the Ministers?)
But the big question remains – who collects the profits from these companies?
So think about this. Joan is the hired boss in a company but she is not the owner. Jack owns the company. Without Jack’s knowledge, Joan buys all stationary and cleaning supplies from a company she personally owns. She always finds a reason why the competitors are not good enough to steer this contract to her personal company. Is that fair to Jack? Is Joan conducting a relationship that is improper and can be seen as a conflict of interest?
If Jack finds out, should he ask Joan to resign? Was Joan being ethical? Let the conversation continue.