Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 10th 2013 Contents A6
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, October 10, 2013
- VISUAL (Spectacles
& Contact Lens)
6.1000 6.2277 6.4445
5.7301 6.0317 6.3634
9.4578 9.9556 10.4932
8.0125 8.4342 8.8981
****** 0.0640 0.0678
2.0997 2.2823 2.4421
* 2.5536 ****** 3.2528
for OCTOBER 09th 2013
President of the Joint Consultative Council (JCC)
Afra Raymond has challenged Planning and Sus-
tainable Development Minister Dr Bhoe Tewarie,
calling on him to publicly debate the merits of the
group s draft procurement bill as opposed to the
Government s Procurement Bill, which is to be laid
in Parliament soon.
Speaking as a guest at the weekly meeting of the
Rotary Club of Port-of-Spain West at Cascadia Hotel,
St Ann's, yesterday, Raymond said if Tewarie and
the Government were serious about using that bill
then it should be publicly debated.
He said: "The challenge for Dr Tewarie is this: If
you are really putting forward that bill as representative
of the Government's position on public procurement,
if you are putting forward that bill as progress in the
people's interest, the JCC is publicly challenging Dr
Tewarie. We want a public debate on these bills."
The JCC, along with other civil society and private
sector groups, called last August for the draft bill to
Raymond explained to the group of Rotarians the
need for public procurement legislation.
The group has worked on its own draft bill since
2003, he said.
He added: "This group has been together since
2003 with the Cabinet-appointed committee to work
on public procurement.
"This is a civil society, private sector group lobbying
for an improvement in the law to stop corruption in
our nation's affairs.
"We have written a draft law and submitted that
to the joint select committee on public procurement
before six months of the People's Partnership vic-
"We wrote the law at our expense and that has
not happened anywhere in the Caribbean before.
"And what is happening now, there is a bogus bill
being put forward by the Government that does not
properly represent the public interest in this mat-
The group, he said, was proposing three new bodies
to address the issue of procurement: A procurement
regulator, a procurement commission (to receive
complaints and rule on them) and a national advisory
council, composed of 14 members from the private
sector and civil society.
He said both the regulator and commissioner would
be appointed by the President and funded from the
consolidated fund and report to Parliament and there
would be an open database which would allow mem-
bers of the public to see which contracts were available
"The kind of transparency we severely lack at the
moment. Some of the state agencies have it and
others don't. That level of inconsistency is not com-
patible with progress," he added.
He said the Government had the group's draft bill
since December 2010 and three revisions of it have
been done so far.
"The Government is yet to explain to the group
the reason for the bill's rejection. Our bill represents
substantial progress in terms of what the country
needs," he added.
The group, he said, wrote on August 8 to complain
about the Government's version of the bill.
He said the Government's bill "specifically excluded
from their proposed arrangements any government-
to-government arrangements." He said the govern-
ment's bill would regulate the transactions in public
money except when it was a government-to-gov-
Raymond said the regulations were created by a
procurement regulator which was similar to the
group's draft but in the Government's version the
regulations were approved by the Finance Minister.
He added the Government's version of the bill
contained the phrase "public money" but "is not
connected to any of the other sections in their draft."
He said there were no provisions in the Govern-
ment's bill for civil society oversight as well.
He said the group had two methods for going for-
ward, by civil protest or by taking the high road of
Citing research done by the group, he said some
Latin American countries made astonishing progress
with respect to procurement regulation and legislation
in the last 25 years.
The countries that have made the greatest amount
of progress and have the most effective public pro-
curement systems were the ones that have serious
civil society involvement," he said.
debate on its
Chairman of the Congress of the
People Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan
has hit out at PNM leader Keith
Rowley s recent description of COP
members as "idiots."
He was reported as using the term
about COP members at last week-
end's PNM meeting in St James when
he was talking about UNC and COP's
local government candidates in Diego
Martin and Port-of-Spain.
His "idiot" comment elicited neg-
ative feedback from more than one
COP member in Diego Martin.
A former COP member, Gregory
Wight, in a letter published in the
T&T Guardian yesterday, also said
Rowley's description had alienated
more than a few former COP mem-
bers and lost the PNM much potential
Seepersad-Bachan, who said she
had responded immediately to the
issue on television after it occurred,
said Rowley's language did not come
across as that of a prime minister in
waiting and she was disappointed in
the level of the PNM's campaigning.
She added: "The COP will not be
calling anyone idiots' on the platform
and based on Dr Rowley's recent per-
formance' we have instructed our
speakers not to engage in any mud-
slinging and to hold to the highest
level of conduct.
"We have been hearing a lot of
untruths and misleading statements
on the platform from Dr Rowley and
other speakers rather than engaging
in issues which are of importance to
local government voters but COP will
not copy such behaviour simply in
the interest of keeping crowd atten-
COP hits Rowley over
his 'idiots' comment
Former West Indies captain Brian Lara greets young fans during his recent
visit to India to lend his celebrity status to assist with raising funds for the
survivors of Kedarnath, which was affected by a flooding disaster.
Links Archive October 9th 2013 October 11th 2013 Navigation Previous Page Next Page