GECOM abandons public procurement, tendering system

first_img2018 LGE Voter Education Programme …accused of contract splitting, rewarding ‘phantom companies’ The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) has been accused of abandoning the public procurement system which guarantees transparency and accountability, as it made shocking revelations at its most recent Commissioners meeting that it has already awarded several contracts to companies for the provision of key services under its 2018 Local Government Elections (LGE) Voter Education Programme without publicly advertising for those services.And what is even more shocking is that the Commission has reportedly failed to say exactly how much of its overall LGE budget has been set aside to meet its initiatives and other projects under the entity’s Voter Education Programme, as was traditionally the case under previous GECOM Chief Elections Officers and Chairmen.Chief Commissioner for the Opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP), who attended the last meeting where these revelations were made, Bibi Shadick, explained that she has personally requested that the Commission’s Secretariat provide all Commissioners with the exact process that was utilised to select the companies and the method used to advertise various services that were required to be externally secured under the Voter Education Programme.“I don’t know where they got those names and companies from… or how they selected them… it was only when we started asking questions based upon reports in the press that the Secretariat via the Chief Elections Officer began sharing this information,” she remarked during an interview on Wednesday evening.Asked if there was a Voter Education Manager employed by GECOM, Shadick responded in the negative, stating that she is not aware that that vacancy had been filled or even advertised.Pressed as to what role the Commissioners played in the conceptualisation of GECOM’s Voter Education Programme or the initiatives that would be embarked upon, Shadick said no proposal addressing that specific programme was brought to the Commissioners for their input or consent.“The answers we are getting from the Commission are nowhere near transparent,” she opined. The PPP Commissioner also said that GECOM is making the excuse that it was in a rush and haste to meet timelines and get work going under the Voter Education Project but this seems strange as the date for LGEs was made public via the Minister of Communities Ronald Bulkan back in May of this year.Shadick even vented her concerns in a letter to the Editor published in today’s dailies where she questioned the integrity of the entire process as adumbrated by GECOM.“Just before the meeting, information was shared via email about the voter education activities promised to us last week. The information included a matrix of PR and other multimedia outfits which apparently sent quotations for several activities including infomercials and flyers. Questions were asked and it turns out that none of this procurement of services was publicly advertised, no information was available as to how the entities were chosen to send in quotes, and how the various activities were even disaggregated!,” Shadick suggested.She further explained that “activities such as the voting process; stamping ballot paper; voting without an ID; eligibility to vote; voter rights and responsibility; voting by proxy and election offences are all listed separately for 60 second infomercials costing between $65,000 and $160,000. The basis for this listing remained unexplained and the impression I got was that the whole thing is contract splitting to benefit select outfits. As usual, the excuse for no public tender or anything resembling a transparent process was sacrificed at the altar of ‘not enough time and statutory deadlines to meet in a great hurry’”.She even took aim at APNU’s Chief GECOM Commissioner Vincent Alexander who she described as “a would-be pacifist” when he lamented “the absence of a procurement manual which would disallow such underhand practices, yet that manual remains elusive”.During the interview, Shadick underscored the importance of getting the most out of the money spent by GECOM as he explained that the voter education component of any elections is important.Documents seen by Guyana Times on Wednesday also exposes the fact several companies were listed as having sent quotations to GECOM for the provision of services. Some of the entities that got the bulk of various contracts and job orders were Murondi Radio Drama, Intel Storm, Fuse Arts, Modern Media and Pro-media.GECOM is looking for the production of 60 second infomercials, 60 second advertisements, the printing and design of posters and flyers on various electoral issues.Questioned as to who was responsible for supervising the programme, Shadick said it would appear that the functions were passed on to GECOM’s Public Relations Officer Yolanda Warde. She was quoted extensively in the media last week announcing that the Voter Education Programme would be launched this week.“Prior to nomination, we focused on contestants and the preparation of their list of candidates… We have since started our programme as it relates to the voter education aspect… Our audio visual element will commence next week focusing primarily on the voter education aspects; rights and responsibilities, eligibility, the voting process and all that’s required for the elector to be aware of as it relates to participating in the Local Government Elections process,” Warde said.Warde also disclosed that GECOM has identified a company to commence work on its social media education awareness. She clarified that the voter education campaign is being managed by GECOM itself and not by an advertising agency.“For each individual production which ever company emerged as the successful bidder, that’s the company that was selected so there is no one individual company. As it relates to placement of advertisements, that is being done by GECOM so it’s not an advertising company that is managing that process for us. So, we have already commenced that process in terms of the placement as it relates to the television process and so,” she reported.GECOM’s entire budget for 2018 is $2.9 billion of which the sum for the holding of Local Government Elections is included. $160 million was allocated for capital works and items and $1.6 billion for the normal operations of the Commission. As such, the remaining sum of $1.2 billion was allotted for the conduct of Local Government Elections in November.In 2016, $1.5 billion was expended for Local Government Elections. (Michael Younge)last_img read more

Man United fans lose their minds as new signing finally makes long-awaited debut

first_img Latest Champions League news Aiming high Dalot finally makes his Man United debut and fans are delirious Liverpool set for Champions League boost as Takumi Minamino will be available ready? Shaw and Dalot starting. Proper fullbacks after 5675321 years.— The United Link 🏆 (@TheUnitedLink) September 19, 2018 Dalot and Shaw starting as full backs for the first time together, a midfield three of Fred, Pogba and Matic and a front three of Martial, Lukaku and Rashford. We’re being blessed tonight.— The Man Utd Way (@TheManUtdWay) September 19, 2018 All the Valencia fanboys are gonna be shook once they see a proper fullback play— ~Zahir~ (@DalotRole20) September 19, 2018 BOOST The month is September, the year is 2018, the date is the 19th and we are finally going to see a United side with two out and out full backs. Luke Shaw and Diogo Dalot start!— The Man Utd Way (@TheManUtdWay) September 19, 2018 he’s done it. a very important game considering the strength of the group and he’s gone for it with handing dalot his first-team debut. fair play. so excited to see him play now.— Anna_MUFC (@mufc_anna) September 19, 2018 Super hyped for the game, can’t wait to see Dalot play, good to see Shaw back, hope to see a good performance from Martial and Rashford. #mufc— Shaun Irvine (@_shaunirvine) September 19, 2018 2center_img 2 So excited to finally see Dalot making his debut for us. Shaw, Fred, Martial and Rashford also back in the lineup. Those Young Boys aren’t ready for that. #MUFC— Rocco ◢◤ (@SublimeLukaku) September 19, 2018 Shaw and Dalot both starting alongside Martial 🔥🔥🔥— ً was (ClinicalSanchez) (@Fellxini) September 19, 2018 Dalot in action for United’s Under-21 side Check out the best reaction below! Top scorer in 2019: Messi, Mbappe and Sterling trailing Europe’s top marksman on target Jose Moruinho’s decision to start Diogo Dalot has left Manchester United fans ‘so excited’ as the young defender prepares to make his debut.The Portuguese right-back replaced Antonio Valencia in the starting XI for the Champions League clash with Young Boys on Wednesday night. Ancelotti tells fans he has Champions League dream for Everton Atletico handed huge boost for Liverpool tie with Diego Costa returning from injury After being described as ‘the best full-back in Europe’ for his age group by Mourinho, it’s not hard to see why.A £17.4million summer signing, Dalot has only made six Primeira Liga appearances for former club Porto – but has clearly done enough to convince the Red Devils boss of his ability.With Anthony Martial partnering Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford up front in Switzerland, it’s fair to say there were quite a few United fans feeling very confident ahead of the Group H opener.last_img read more