Govt will have to account for shady drug procurement – PPP

first_img… as Party signals intention to go after Jordan for answersThe People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has signalled that the questions on drug procurement which they fielded in the National Assembly are not the end of the road. The Opposition has undertaken to leave no stone unturned to pursue further information on shady drug procurement practices. PPP Parliamentarian Juan Edghill gave this assurance during a press conference on Thursday. Edghill said while the answers the Party sought were not satisfactory, they would get the Finance Ministry, as well as the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB) involved in the matter.“I will tell you; these questions are not the end of this matter. There are a whole lot of other questions other people in Government will have to answer and I can put a notice here at today’s press conference (to) the Minister of Finance (Winston Jordan) and the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board.”“Because I will be moving in that direction, to get the National Procurement Board to make public every contract that has been awarded, the names of the evaluators, the date the contract was awarded, and for what amounts, because that information already needed to be made public on the NPTAB website.”In fact, checks to NPTAB’s website shows that the last time information on tender awards was updated were in May of last year. This was for the D’Urban Park Project. In addition, the last updated minutes for tender openings in the board room were March 21, 2017.“And all you’re getting on the NPTAB website is the minutes of opening tenders. So you know who tendered, but you never knowing who it was awarded (to). And (the website is) not even up to date. So this is not the end of it. This Government’s feet will be kept to the fire; they will give an account and be transparent. And if they can’t comply the people of Guyana will decide what the next move is.”Edghill stressed that public procurement of drugs was not a private enterprise but rather a multimillion-dollar process. He noted that since the Government was procuring the drugs, there are strict criteria and standards that should be followed so that the nation gets quality drugs for the right price.This all comes in the wake of questions the Party fielded to the Ministers of Public Health and Communities in the National Assembly on Monday last.When a response came from the Communities Minister, Ronald Bulkan it was revealed that nine out of 10 regions in Guyana did no public tendering for drugs and medical supplies between January 2016 and February 2017.In addition, all regions indicated that no prequalification process was followed. This was all done in the name of emergencies.GPHCIn the case of the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) In addition, Opposition Parliamentarian Edghill had noted that 77 per cent of the total allocations for drugs for Georgetown Public Hospital (GPHC) have been expended.He said that when the Public Health Minister was asked about the amount of money spend on drugs and medical supplies for the Georgetown Public Hospital for January and February 2017, it was revealed that some $2 billion has already been expended. This represents almost 77 per cent of the total allocations for the year. However, Edghill pointed out that among the questions to the Ministers was whether any of the companies were pre-qualified. The former Junior Finance Minister noted that the answer was “no”.Pre-qualification is an important part of ensuring quality assurance when works are done or goods supplied for the Government. In this instance, contractors are usually invited to apply to NPTAB so that they can be pre-qualified or placed on a shortlist for future projects according to World Health Organisation standards.In the case of drugs and medical supplies, companies are expected to have adequate warehouse facilities, staff, security, in addition to appropriate certification and an emphasis on sanitation.last_img read more