PARLIAMENT HAS LOST ITS FOCUS : Gov’t not satisfied with progress made in 2013 legislative agenda

THE political gridlock that dogged the proceedings of the National Assembly in 2013 has left the Government dissatisfied with the level of progress it achieved in advancing its legislative agenda.Attorney General Anil Nandlall, at a press conference held yesterday at Freedom House, said: “No one in the PPP (People’s Progressive Party) can say we are satisfied.”

Parliament has lost its focus and is being used by the Opposition as an instrument to advance political causes, he opined.

“Parliament has been used repeatedly as a forum to extract political gains…one must be disappointed in the use of Parliament,” he declared.

The AG said rejection of the “people’s voice” in moves made to reject petitions from the private sector and stakeholders in the cricket field was also a source of disappointment.

He argued that the petitions were not rejected on the basis of their merit, but because of other considerations.

The use of the one-seat majority, Nandlall said, was another source of contention.

The AG said that misuse of the majority reflected an authoritarian style that bore resemblance to governance in the pre-1992 years.

ENCROACHMENT
He added that there are “constant and relentless” attempts to exceed the powers of the Legislature and encroach on the functional responsibilities of the Executive.

The AG said: “Last year we saw a series of motions moved by Mr. Carl Greenidge and Mr. Khemraj Ramjattan seeking to direct certain ministers to do things, things that are inconsistent with the law and the Constitution.”

Nandlall pointed to more recent acts, including the call for Minister Robert Persaud’s resignation and the motion to have Finance Minister, Dr. Ashni Singh, appear before a Privileges Committee.

He said the House has no power to censor a member of the Executive in the discharge of Executive functions.
“The Parliament has jurisdiction over the conduct of its members over the proceedings of the House, but it has no jurisdiction, no power and no responsibility to censor a minister with respect to the Executive functions of the minister.

“All these are trespasses committed into the province of the Executive by the National Assembly seeking to expand their (the Opposition’s) role as they continue on the path of political vendetta. That is what the Parliament is being used for…this can never be the role conceived for the Parliament.”

He made it clear that the National Assembly has to serve the interest of the Guyanese people.

“A Parliament is the place where the ultimate objective is to act in the interest of the people, not to penalize the people,” Nandlall said.

General Secretary of the ruling party, Mr Clement Rohee, added: “The Opposition MPs appear to want to run the Government from the Parliament. This is a total misconstrued view on the role of Parliament vis-à-vis the Executive.

“Someone seems to have convinced them, or they seem to have convinced themselves, that the Parliament can give direction to the Executive.”

Rohee termed this a governance challenge, and stressed the need for “political compromise” going into 2014. This, he said, has been called for since Cheddi Jagan was Head of State, and throughout the time of the ruling party’s majority in the National Assembly.
He said the legislative agenda for the New Year is already being worked on.

HIGH POINT
Both Government Members of Parliament agreed that, despite the challenges this year, there were some high points.

The AG noted the Speaker’s ruling following the Opposition no-confidence motion in Minister Rohee. Speaker Trotman ruled that Rohee would be allowed to participate fully in the business of the National Assembly and be unhindered in the execution of duties, both as an elected Member of Parliament and as the individual designated by the President to be the Home Affairs Minister.

Trotman had said: “It is my considered opinion that refusing the right to a minister to address the House is tantamount to refusing the President the right to speak in the House — a very unconstitutional and untenable situation”.

Nandlall said the number of questions, in the hundreds, tabled in the House was another high point. He added that none went unanswered.

Rohee said the experience gained from working in the new dispensation in the National Assembly was another high point, as it provided the basis for advancing proceedings under different circumstances.

Both men agreed that moving into 2014 will not be without challenges, but they also agreed that consensus – which has been proven possible in the absence of political plays – must be the focus of Parliamentarians.
PULL QUOTE:‘The Opposition MPs appear to want to run the Government from the Parliament. This is a total misconstrued view on the role of Parliament vis-à-vis the Executive. Someone seems to have convinced them, or they seem to have convinced themselves, that the Parliament can give direction to the Executive.’ – Clement Rohee

Written By Vanessa Narine

 

 

extracted from the Guyanachronicle

Original Post

Stringent checks before agreeing to next year’s public service funds – AFC

December 23, 2013 | By | Filed Under News 

Alliance for Change (AFC) Leader Khemraj Ramjattan has indicated his party’s intent to scrutinize the spending of Public Servants’ funds before agreeing to allocations in the New Year.

AFC leader Khemraj Ramjattan

AFC leader Khemraj Ramjattan

AFC Vice Chairman Moses Nagamootoo

AFC Vice Chairman Moses Nagamootoo

Ramjattan highlighted the option of cutting budgeted funds if the government is unable to provide a paper trail or account for money previously budgeted for public workers’ increases. Ramjattan said, “the party will be scrutinizing thoroughly, where that $4.4B voted for Public Servants went.” He said that Finance Minister Ashni Singh is making the case, “and not very cogently, that it (allocations) went towards promotions of certain staff members and also the hiring of new recruits”, but “that money was not supposed to go there.” Ramjattan clarified, “revised wages and salaries are exclusively for the revision of wages and salaries for public workers during the course of the year and the Minister must say what happened to that money before we agree for any more. I did ask a question and he (Minister) never answered whether indeed any of the money for the revised wages and salaries went towards paying GINA and NCN staff and he deliberately did not answer that in Parliament.” “I believe moreover that when indeed they are caught, in the sense that they did take monies from the revised wages and salaries to put into other line items that were reduced, there must be some measure of accountability at the criminal law process. Right now we do not have the capacity to carry the Minister to court because the Financial Management and Accountability Act Section 85, only states officials are those who will be penalized; and after investigations, we were told by those in charge that officials do not mean the Minister.” That is why, Ramjattan continued, that the Bill by Mr. Carl Greenidge now indicates that official must now include the minister. “The President has not assented to that bill,” he asserted. It is then left to decide whether to go ahead with a private prosecution against the officials of the Ministry of Finance, who would then siphon off monies from the line items approved by the Assembly to line items that were not approved; “that is criminal. It has a penalty of imprisonment,” Ramjattan stated. He continued that it was intended, when passing the Financial Management Act, to endure that when the National Assembly puts money into line items, it is used for what it was approved. “So at budget time, there will be tremendous scrutiny as to where that revised wages and salary money went ($4.4B), even if he (Minister) has to tell us each promotion and each new worker that was hired and not paid out of the category called wages and salaries.” Wages and salaries, he explained, is different from revised wages and salaries since wages and salaries would have already catered for the projected promotions and hiring of staff. Party Vice Chairman Moses Nagamootoo said that, 12 to 15 percent increase for public workers was what was supported and, “it was our conviction at that time that we were voting for no less than 10 percent for the workers. It could have been as much as a 12 percent increase, but when we get this type of explanation that it was not all for wages, then somebody is misleading the National Assembly.” Nagamootoo said that the party supports the Public Servants protest. In terms of wage increases, it should be linked to collective bargaining, while trade unions should be recognized and retire from their “paused” position. He said that a tripartite committee must conduct a forensic of the budget involving trade unions, the opposition and the government. He continued that there should be a thorough examination of the budget to see how much revision of wages went for the increase in wages and that for new recruits. The party concluded however that the budget will have to state clearly wages and salaries funds from revised wages and salaries given the manner in which they opined, the government has skillfully hidden Finance resources. They party sees this as theft to hide money in such a way using sections of the budget.

Ramjattan said, “the party will be scrutinizing thoroughly, where that $4.4B voted for Public Servants went.” He said that Finance Minister Ashni Singh is making the case, “and not very cogently, that it (allocations) went towards promotions of certain staff members and also the hiring of new recruits”, but “that money was not supposed to go there.” Ramjattan clarified, “revised wages and salaries are exclusively for the revision of wages and salaries for public workers during the course of the year and the Minister must say what happened to that money before we agree for any more.

Originally Posted by Conscience:

The AFC was fully aware of the funds approved for the public servants and its true purpose, they are now pulling a political stunt, to attract a ray of limelight....

Ramjatan,  ask a question and he (Minister) never answered whether indeed any of the money for the revised wages and salaries went towards paying GINA and NCN staff and he deliberately did not answer that in Parliament.”

THE political gridlock that dogged the proceedings of the National Assembly in 2013 has left the Government dissatisfied with the level of progress it achieved in advancing its legislative agenda. Attorney General Anil Nandlall, at a press conference held yesterday at Freedom House, said: “No one in the PPP (People’s Progressive Party) can say we are satisfied.”

-----------------

He added that there are “constant and relentless” attempts to exceed the powers of the Legislature and encroach on the functional responsibilities of the Executive.

-----------------

“All these are trespasses committed into the province of the Executive by the National Assembly seeking to expand their (the Opposition’s) role as they continue on the path of political vendetta. That is what the Parliament is being used for…this can never be the role conceived for the Parliament.”

The next election will determine whether this actions of the Opposition - PNC cum AFC - will continue again.

The govt. must have a conditional No Objection role in Procurement

December 23, 2013 | By | Filed Under Letters 

Dear Editor, There seems to be a misunderstanding of the meaning, of the words, “No Objection” to be issued by Cabinet. This No objection will not affect the independence of the Procurement Body (PB)= Public Procurement Commission(PPC) + Tender Board(TB). The Cabinet review, comments, and the No objection will be based on a pre-set Procurement Plan and Procedures(PPAP) for each Inititiatives/Project of Procuring Works, Goods and Services. Initiatives, Programs/Projects are identified in annual national budgets, as Parliamentary appropriation, based on manifesto/needs etc. AT the inception, Initiation documents prepared by the government with inputs from the PB, set the goals, objectives, related issues, possible risks, preliminary criteria, timing, Class D estimates, addressing what, where, who, when, and why, with preliminary quantification and qualification,  prioritize needs as critical, necessary, or desirable, with criteria for stakeholders satisfaction. A Procurement Plan and Procurement Procedures can be set now and revised after the Feasibility study is done. The PB has the responsibility to implement, award, control, evaluate all initiatives, contracts etc after the review, comments and No Objection of Cabinet, based on the Procurement Plan and Procedures. Cabinet has no authority to approve nor disapprove. An agreed PPAP for every initiative/project will reflect: a) contracts and details b)methods of procurement —competitive, selective, prequalification, prior short list c)rewiew procedures/criteria by PB and Cabinet. d)pre approved evaluation criteria for the executing agency e)Terms of Reference review and how it meet the initiative etc Some Criteria of the Procurement Plan And Procedures (PPAP)which cabinet will use to review and  issue the No objections are: 1)Have the criteria in PPAP been met. 2)Do we have the right alternatives 3)Is value for money achieved 4)Were all bidders provided with same information and opportunity to bid 4)Has domestic contracting/manufacturing been encouraged 5)Is the process Transparent 6)Has Treasurary Board stipulations been met. 7)Has Quality and Quantity been satisfied 8)What are the activities that can prevent timely completion? What mitigation and at what cost 9)What risks  are involved and at what cost 10)Are prices consistent with market value 11)What are the possibility of cost overrun? What %? Should government contemplate budgeting for cost overrun? 12)Is their joint ventures with local companies for transfer of technology? 14)Have consultants and contractors meet all bonding conditions, Liquidated damages, submitted accurate informations. 15) Are there contractors black listed or accused of mal practice 16)review documents, bid evaluations, recommendations and contracts to ensure that the process was consistent with the PPAP. 17) Fraud and Corruption: Fraud and corruption include acts of: (i) corrupt practice; (ii) fraudulent practice; (iii) coercive practice; and (iv) collusive practice. - A corrupt practice is the offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting, directly or indirectly, of anything of value to influence the actions of another party; - A fraudulent practice is any act or omission, including a misrepresentation, which misleads, or attempts to mislead, a party in order to obtain a financial or other benefit or to avoid an obligation; - A coercive practice is impairing or harming, or threatening to impair or harm, directly or indirectly, any party or property of the party to influence the actions of a party; and - A collusive practice is an arrangement between two or more parties designed to achieve an improper purpose, including to influence improperly the actions of another party. (See IDB Procurement) We are now alleging that the government is corrupt, so Procurement must be the responsibility of the PB. What prevents the PB from being corrupt? Therefore, the only redress, is the No Objection by cabinet as an oversight, to ensure all criteria is followed in the PPAP. Pt. Joe Persuad

Originally Posted by Mitwah:

The govt. must have a conditional No Objection role in Procurement

December 23, 2013 | By | Filed Under Letters 

Dear Editor, There seems to be a misunderstanding of the meaning, of the words, “No Objection” to be issued by Cabinet. This No objection will not affect the independence of the Procurement Body (PB)= Public Procurement Commission(PPC) + Tender Board(TB). The Cabinet review, comments, and the No objection will be based on a pre-set Procurement Plan and Procedures(PPAP) for each Inititiatives/Project of Procuring Works, Goods and Services. Initiatives, Programs/Projects are identified in annual national budgets, as Parliamentary appropriation, based on manifesto/needs etc. AT the inception, Initiation documents prepared by the government with inputs from the PB, set the goals, objectives, related issues, possible risks, preliminary criteria, timing, Class D estimates, addressing what, where, who, when, and why, with preliminary quantification and qualification,  prioritize needs as critical, necessary, or desirable, with criteria for stakeholders satisfaction. A Procurement Plan and Procurement Procedures can be set now and revised after the Feasibility study is done. The PB has the responsibility to implement, award, control, evaluate all initiatives, contracts etc after the review, comments and No Objection of Cabinet, based on the Procurement Plan and Procedures. Cabinet has no authority to approve nor disapprove. An agreed PPAP for every initiative/project will reflect: a) contracts and details b)methods of procurement —competitive, selective, prequalification, prior short list c)rewiew procedures/criteria by PB and Cabinet. d)pre approved evaluation criteria for the executing agency e)Terms of Reference review and how it meet the initiative etc Some Criteria of the Procurement Plan And Procedures (PPAP)which cabinet will use to review and  issue the No objections are: 1)Have the criteria in PPAP been met. 2)Do we have the right alternatives 3)Is value for money achieved 4)Were all bidders provided with same information and opportunity to bid 4)Has domestic contracting/manufacturing been encouraged 5)Is the process Transparent 6)Has Treasurary Board stipulations been met. 7)Has Quality and Quantity been satisfied 8)What are the activities that can prevent timely completion? What mitigation and at what cost 9)What risks  are involved and at what cost 10)Are prices consistent with market value 11)What are the possibility of cost overrun? What %? Should government contemplate budgeting for cost overrun? 12)Is their joint ventures with local companies for transfer of technology? 14)Have consultants and contractors meet all bonding conditions, Liquidated damages, submitted accurate informations. 15) Are there contractors black listed or accused of mal practice 16)review documents, bid evaluations, recommendations and contracts to ensure that the process was consistent with the PPAP. 17) Fraud and Corruption: Fraud and corruption include acts of: (i) corrupt practice; (ii) fraudulent practice; (iii) coercive practice; and (iv) collusive practice. - A corrupt practice is the offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting, directly or indirectly, of anything of value to influence the actions of another party; - A fraudulent practice is any act or omission, including a misrepresentation, which misleads, or attempts to mislead, a party in order to obtain a financial or other benefit or to avoid an obligation; - A coercive practice is impairing or harming, or threatening to impair or harm, directly or indirectly, any party or property of the party to influence the actions of a party; and - A collusive practice is an arrangement between two or more parties designed to achieve an improper purpose, including to influence improperly the actions of another party. (See IDB Procurement) We are now alleging that the government is corrupt, so Procurement must be the responsibility of the PB. What prevents the PB from being corrupt? Therefore, the only redress, is the No Objection by cabinet as an oversight, to ensure all criteria is followed in the PPAP. Pt. Joe Persuad

 

Mits

 

I know personally know Joe Persaud who wrote that letter. He claims to be a Pandit but eats duck curry and drinks Rum. This is no joke.

 

He had a fall out with the PPP after Jagdeo took over. I disagree with his politics. He plants lots of rice at No. 68 - No. 70 Village. We used to call him Feda. I am laughing my head off that Feda is now being taken seriously by the AFC. 

 

 

Last edited by Former Member
Originally Posted by yuji22:
Originally Posted by Mitwah:

The govt. must have a conditional No Objection role in Procurement

December 23, 2013 | By | Filed Under Letters 

Dear Editor, There seems to be a misunderstanding of the meaning, of the words, “No Objection” to be issued by Cabinet. This No objection will not affect the independence of the Procurement Body (PB)= Public Procurement Commission(PPC) + Tender Board(TB). The Cabinet review, comments, and the No objection will be based on a pre-set Procurement Plan and Procedures(PPAP) for each Inititiatives/Project of Procuring Works, Goods and Services. Initiatives, Programs/Projects are identified in annual national budgets, as Parliamentary appropriation, based on manifesto/needs etc. AT the inception, Initiation documents prepared by the government with inputs from the PB, set the goals, objectives, related issues, possible risks, preliminary criteria, timing, Class D estimates, addressing what, where, who, when, and why, with preliminary quantification and qualification,  prioritize needs as critical, necessary, or desirable, with criteria for stakeholders satisfaction. A Procurement Plan and Procurement Procedures can be set now and revised after the Feasibility study is done. The PB has the responsibility to implement, award, control, evaluate all initiatives, contracts etc after the review, comments and No Objection of Cabinet, based on the Procurement Plan and Procedures. Cabinet has no authority to approve nor disapprove. An agreed PPAP for every initiative/project will reflect: a) contracts and details b)methods of procurement —competitive, selective, prequalification, prior short list c)rewiew procedures/criteria by PB and Cabinet. d)pre approved evaluation criteria for the executing agency e)Terms of Reference review and how it meet the initiative etc Some Criteria of the Procurement Plan And Procedures (PPAP)which cabinet will use to review and  issue the No objections are: 1)Have the criteria in PPAP been met. 2)Do we have the right alternatives 3)Is value for money achieved 4)Were all bidders provided with same information and opportunity to bid 4)Has domestic contracting/manufacturing been encouraged 5)Is the process Transparent 6)Has Treasurary Board stipulations been met. 7)Has Quality and Quantity been satisfied 8)What are the activities that can prevent timely completion? What mitigation and at what cost 9)What risks  are involved and at what cost 10)Are prices consistent with market value 11)What are the possibility of cost overrun? What %? Should government contemplate budgeting for cost overrun? 12)Is their joint ventures with local companies for transfer of technology? 14)Have consultants and contractors meet all bonding conditions, Liquidated damages, submitted accurate informations. 15) Are there contractors black listed or accused of mal practice 16)review documents, bid evaluations, recommendations and contracts to ensure that the process was consistent with the PPAP. 17) Fraud and Corruption: Fraud and corruption include acts of: (i) corrupt practice; (ii) fraudulent practice; (iii) coercive practice; and (iv) collusive practice. - A corrupt practice is the offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting, directly or indirectly, of anything of value to influence the actions of another party; - A fraudulent practice is any act or omission, including a misrepresentation, which misleads, or attempts to mislead, a party in order to obtain a financial or other benefit or to avoid an obligation; - A coercive practice is impairing or harming, or threatening to impair or harm, directly or indirectly, any party or property of the party to influence the actions of a party; and - A collusive practice is an arrangement between two or more parties designed to achieve an improper purpose, including to influence improperly the actions of another party. (See IDB Procurement) We are now alleging that the government is corrupt, so Procurement must be the responsibility of the PB. What prevents the PB from being corrupt? Therefore, the only redress, is the No Objection by cabinet as an oversight, to ensure all criteria is followed in the PPAP. Pt. Joe Persuad

 

Mits

 

I know personally know Joe Persaud who wrote that letter. He claims to be a Pandit but eats duck curry and drinks Rum. This is no joke.

 

He had a fall out with the PPP after Jagdeo took over. I disagree with his politics. He plants lots of rice at No. 68 - No. 70 Village. We used to call him Feda. I am laughing my head off that Feda is now being taken seriously by the AFC. 

 

 

Most rum shops in Canje and Corentyne were owned by Pundits at one time and they used to serve roast pork and black pudding for cuttas.

 

Anyway, I am sure you are familiar with The Uttara Kanda which tells the story of Valmiki's early life, as an unnamed highway robber who used to rob people after killing them.

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