Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 30th 2013 Contents A33
June 30, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
With firetrucks being towed at a cost of
$6.5 million and questions about SNC-
Lavalin deals being hot topics, the upcoming
conference on "A Proper Procurement Frame-
work as a Tool For National Development,"
is not just timely but "relevant and impor-
So said attorneys Terence Milne and Ronald
Boynes, both members of the organisation
Anointed Professionals Exhibiting Excellence
(Apex), the facilitators of the conference to be
held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel on July 6.
Apex believes the issue of procurement is
everybody s business. It is important for people
in the private sector as well as those who do
business with the State.
And since the Government is the largest
employer in the country and the purchaser of
the largest amount of goods and services using
taxpayers dollars, it is hoped that the average
citizen would realise the importance of pro-
curement and how they can be directly affect-
ed---it is about accountability.
"Having a proper procurement regime, a
proper procurement framework, a proper pro-
curement legislation in place will ensure that
there will be proper accountability, trans-
parency and accountability, meaning there
will not be shifting of blames or pointing of
fingers. There will be a clear demarcation of
the lines of authority, who has sign-off on
the documents, a full structural approach,"
It is about having guidelines in place to
facilitate and protect employees.
"When you can say here are the guidelines,
there will be no muddying of waters if you
wish. If there are guidelines available then
someone can sit in an office and follow those
guidelines without fear of having to answer
for their actions. If you know you have set
procedures that must be followed then that
helps everybody. When you have guidelines
people can better understand how to go about
doing things," he said.
The outdated act
They contend that the present Central Ten-
ders Board Act of 1967 is cleary outdated.
"The act, quite frankly, never contemplated
the amount of special purpose companies that
tend to operate outside of its purview, it doesn t
contemplate certain arrangements like gov-
ernment to government arrangements. Some
institutions like, I think the army, may be out-
side its purview, and the army of course pro-
cures a lot of goods and service," Boynes said.
What do you mean by appearing outside
of its purview?
"What I mean is, and this of course I would
have gotten from talking to some of the experts,
the army has a large budget to purchase, to
do construction, for ammunition, whatever
they need to purchase. Strictly speaking, I
think their activities are outside of the purview
of even the Central Tenders Board Act," he
Boynes made a point of stating that neither
Milne nor himself were procurement special-
ists, but were merely facilitators of the con-
"We at Apex are pleased to facilitate this
discussion conference by presenting some of
the foremost experts in the field of procure-
ment law and procurement policy. In fact the
draft legislation which is now before the Joint
Select Committee of Parliament was put
together by some of the persons on the panel.
So we are dealing with high powered experts
who will lend their expertise to educate and
inform the public about procurement."
Who will talk
Expected to present at the conference are
former JCC head, Winston Riley, who will
speak on Developmental Issues and Procure-
ment in T&T; JCC president Afra Raymond
on Needs Assessment and Procurement in
T&T; president of the Trinidad and Tobago
Transparency Institute (TTTI) Boyd Reid; cer-
tified fraud examiner Stephon Grey on Con-
ducting Effective Procurement investigations,
and attending all the way from Australia will
be procurement legal expert Carla Herbert.
With more than 200 active members
who span five major fields of professional
experience---education, medicine, business,
public service and the legal system---Apex
was born out of the need for an official
body to act as a mentor to encourage
professionals to carry out their duties in an
On November 2010, Apex was officially
launched, and it was the first time that an
organisation was launched specifically to
help educate professionals on ethical
values. The Christian professionals said
they remain optimistic that the group will
make a positive difference in T&T. Justice
Joan Charles is the chairman.
'Procurement is everybody's business'
Facebook has announced a major revamp
of its advertising systems in an attempt to
deal with concerns about offensive content.
There will now be new restrictions on where
adverts appear on the site.
Marks and Spencer and BSkyB were among
companies to suspend advertising after com-
plaints that adverts had been placed on pages
with offensive material.
The social network is now planning to
remove any advertising from many of its pages.
Facebook s move follows complaints about
a Sky advert promoting an M&S voucher.
The advert was placed on a Facebook page
called "cute and gay boys". The page featured
photographs of teenage boys.
In a blog post on Friday, Facebook said:
"We recognise we need to do more to prevent
situations where ads are displayed alongside
controversial pages and groups. So we are tak-
The company said that from Monday it will
implement a new process to determine which
pages or groups should feature adverts along-
side the content.
Speaking before Facebook announced its
policy change, a spokesman for BSkyB told
the BBC: "We have asked Facebook to devise
safeguards to ensure our content does not
appear alongside inappropriate material in the
Facebook removes ads to avoid boycott
Justice Joan Charles
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