Guyana perceived as corrupt – US State Dept

first_img– crime, inadequate infrastructure remain barriers to investment– corruption discourages investments, undermines developmentThe fact that corruption indices continue to rank Guyana with only minor improvements, crime and inadequate infrastructure has been cited by the US State Department’s 2018 investment climate statements as problems Guyana has to deal with.The sole sourcing of the DHB contract is one of the few sole sourcing allegations that went through an investigation and even the findings of that is unclearAccording to the State Department in its assessment of the situation, allegations of corruption continue to trouble Guyana. It cited the Transparency International’s 2017 Corruption Perception Index, which ranked Guyana at 91 out of 180 countries. To make matters worse, Guyana has since dropped to 93rd position in TI’s latest report.There are widespread concerns about inefficiencies and corruption regarding the awarding of contracts, particularly with respect to concerns of collusion and non-transparency. In his annual report, the Auditor General had noted continuous disregard for the procedures, rules, and the laws that govern public procurement systems,” the State Department said.“The World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2015-2016 identified inefficient Government bureaucracy as the largest obstacle to doing business in Guyana, followed by corruption. Corruption discourages potential foreign direct investments and foreign investors, and it also undermines economic development and growth,” the analysis advised.CorruptionAccording to the TI index, Guyana fell by one spot to the 93rd position out of 180 countries. The index placed Guyana’s corruption perception score at 37 to tie with Gambia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Mongolia and Panama.Public Infrastructure Minister David PattersonThe highest ranked Caribbean country was The Bahamas at 29th place and a score of 65. It is followed by Barbados, which received a score of 68 for being anti-corruption. The next Caribbean country is St Vincent and the Grenadines, which was ranked at 41 with a score of 58.The top ranked countries on the list were Denmark at number one, then New Zealand at number two. The United States of America was ranked at 71, with a score of 22.Last year, Guyana scored 38 when it ranked 91 out of all the countries reviewed. The index came at a time when much was said about the Auditor General’s 2017 report and the sole sourcing of contracts.Red flagThis includes the Public Procurement Commission investigating and red-flagging the sole sourcing of the Demerara River bridge feasibility study. The contract in question was awarded to Dutch company, LievenseCSO, for a feasibility study into the new Demerara River bridge crossing.The parliamentary Opposition had requested that the Public Procurement Commission investigate the award of the $148 million sole sourced contract.In its report on the matter, the Commission 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.After agitation from the parliamentary Opposition, the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) had begun investigating the contract award. Right from the start, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo had stressed the need for the Unit to avoid showing favouritism to Patterson, particularly at a time when Opposition politicians were being brought into SOCU for questioning on other matters.SOCU has since said it completed its investigation into the sole sourced feasibility study contract, with the unit’s head, Assistant Police Commissioner Sydney James confirming that the file has been in the hands of the Police Legal Adviser since last year.Meanwhile, Patterson himself told Guyana Times recently that SOCU has concluded its investigations but he is uncertain of the findings. The Minister had added that the project for the new bridge is expected to come up at the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB) shortly.According to him, “That is supposed to be a public-private partnership. It’s being piloted at the moment, reviewed by the public-private unit under the Ministry of Finance with the help from the [Caribbean Development Bank] CDB and obviously that will go to tender shortly.”last_img read more

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Two bizarre Highway Two incidents

first_imgThe most serious injury appeared to be to the female driver of the first of the two SUV’S involved in the crash, who required fire department assistance after being trapped in her vehicle.Police say there were also three child passengers in that vehicle, but it’s believed that all those involved in the crash, requiring hospital care, were treated and released.The investigation into the cause of the crash involves both the Dawson Creek RCMP and Provincial Commercial Vehicle Safety Enforcement inspectors.Meantime, both are also involved in the investigation into another bizarre Highway Two incident, several hours later.Advertisement The Dawson Creek Mounties report this one occurred just before five o’clock, near the 203 Road, and involved an east bound five tonne truck and a westbound pickup.The big truck lost its driver’s side wheel assembly, when it went over a bridge…and that assembly then slammed into the pickup, which suffered “major frontal driver’s side damage”.The only one reportedly hurt was the 19 year old driver of the pick-up, but his neck and chest injuries are not believed to have been life threatening.Police have already cited mechanical failure as the reason for the wheel assembly separation. The Dawson Creek RCMP says everyone involved managed to escape serious injury, following a four vehicle chain reaction crash yesterday on Highway Two, between the EnCana Events Centre and the Dawson Creek Airport.It occurred shortly before noon, and involved a west bound gravel truck towing a pup trailer.It collided with an east bound Alaska registered van that was also pulling a trailer, which had the axles torn from its undercarriage.- Advertisement -The gravel truck subsequently collided with two east bound SUV’S…with one losing its front driver’s side wheel assembly…and the other ending up in the ditch of the east bound lanes after being side-swiped on the driver’s side.The gravel truck then narrowly missed a hydro pole, and rolled onto its side into the ditch with its fuel tanks ripped open and on fire.However the 61 year old driver, described by police as a local area resident, walked away from the wreckage.Advertisementlast_img read more

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