SOCU investigation near completion

first_imgSole-sourced Demerara River bridge feasibility studyThe Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) is close to wrapping up its investigations into the awarding of a sole-sourced contract for a feasibility study into constructing the new Demerara River bridge.The Public Procurement Commission had stated that the sole sourcing of the contract for the new Demerara River bridge feasibility study was illegalThis is according to SOCU Head, Assistant Police Commissioner Sydney James, when contacted by Guyana Times. While he noted that investigations were in an advanced stage, he declined to give details on whether charges would be laid.“The investigation is almost completed. It’s an ongoing investigation, but it is being finalised. The report is being finalised,” James explained, although he would only say “shortly” when asked for a specific timeframe for completion.The contract in question was awarded to Dutch company LievenseCSO for a feasibility study into the new bridge. The Opposition had requested that the Public Procurement Commission (PPC) investigate the award of the $148 million sole-sourced contract.SOCU head, Assistant Police Commissioner Sydney JamesIn its report on the matter, the PPC had flagged Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson for requesting from Cabinet that the contract be sole-sourced, instead of being processed through the Procurement Board as the law says should be done.The PPC completed its investigation into the award of the contract for a feasibility study on a new Demerara River bridge, and handed its report over on August 7, 2018. The report noted that several companies had bid for the project to do the feasibility study and design for the new Demerara River bridge, and 12 companies had been shortlisted.The report had added that only two of the 12 companies had made proposals. As such, the bidding process was annulled. It added that on November 12, 2016, the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB) approved the move for the project to be re-tendered. The project was not re-tendered; instead, Dutch company LievenseCSO was engaged by the Public Infrastructure Ministry to do the work.Page seven of the report noted that the bid from LievenseCSO was “unsolicited”, but Patterson took the company’s proposal to Cabinet for approval, and Cabinet granted its approval for the company to be engaged. The report, on page seven, stated that monies to be spent on the project were taken from the Demerara Harbour Bridge Corporation (Asphalt Plant Accounts).It was subsequently announced that SOCU would be investigating the matter. Patterson submitted a statement to the investigative unit in September of this year, although this was criticised as the Opposition said the same standard used on them should apply to the Government. Around that time, Opposition politicians were being questioned at SOCU headquarters over other matters.last_img read more


first_imgFianna Fáil has called for urgent clarity on the Government’s plans in relation to child benefit, following irresponsible and ill prepared kite-flying by the Education Minister on national radio this morning.The party’s Education Spokesperson Charlie McConalogue commented, “Is it really acceptable for a senior Cabinet Minister to go on national radio to ‘start a debate’ about such an important issue, without having any accurate facts or figures, without having consulted colleagues or experts and without having any answers whatsoever about what is coming down the line for families?“No one in Fianna Fáil will argue with the benefits of investing in pre-school education and giving all children the best chance at an equal start in life. That is why we introduced the free pre-school year in the first place, and we would certainly welcome investment in a second pre-school year. But it cannot be at the expense of supports for older children from lower income families who will miss out on this direct investment. “Minister Quinn’s back of the envelope economics raises far more questions than it answers and gives an insight into just how little thought has gone into this proposal. The Minister repeatedly claimed that €20 billion is currently invested in child benefit, when in fact the actual figure is €2.2 billion. He said an additional pre-school year would cost €150 million. The government has already cut €142 million from child benefit. Is Minister Quinn proposing that this €142 million be channelled into his department or is he talking about further slashing child benefit?“Rather than turning up for a chat on the national airwaves with half-baked facts and figures, the Minister would be much better advised to do some preparatory work, get the support of colleagues and present a credible, costed policy. If the Minister really wishes to ‘start a debate’ on this matter, we need to have the facts first.”ADVERTISEMENT DONEGAL TD ‘WORRIED’ AT MINISTER’S CHILD BENEFIT DEBATE was last modified: May 8th, 2013 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:DONEGAL TD ‘WORRIED’ AT MINISTER’S CHILD BENEFIT DEBATElast_img read more