Ramjattan blanks calls for retendering

Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan

Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan

Specialty Hospital controversy

 

– “it will be Fedders Lloyd whether the company was disqualified or not”

 

By Edward Layne

 

Despite mounting criticism from anti-corruption bodies and transparency activists over a decision to select disqualified contractor Fedders Lloyd to construct the Specialty Hospital at Liliendaal, Greater Georgetown, Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan has blanked all possibilities of retendering the multimillion-dollar project.

An artist’s impression of the Specialty Hospital

An artist’s impression of the Specialty Hospital

The most recent call for the scrapping of the recently-signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Government and Fedders Lloyd came from local anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International Guyana Incorporated (TIGI) President, Father Compton Meerabux on Saturday.

“The fact the Fedders Lloyd deal is worth more than US$14 million, it demands the highest ethical standards compliance… we recommended that there should be a retendering of the whole process, because there are too many issues involved in the process,” the TIGI President said.

However, when asked, in light of the TIGI President’s call whether the Government would consider retendering the project, Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan, a key figure at the centre of the controversy, told Guyana Times that there was no need for a fresh procurement process and Fedders Lloyd would be the company completing the project, despite the fact that it had been disqualified from the initial bidding process.

“Absolutely we do not see the need for retendering. We see, however, the need to give it to Fedders Lloyd in this case … as I quoted that you can give it to any third party and any third party meaning Fedders Lloyd, whether he is disqualified or not,” Ramjattan told Guyana Times.“The Government of the day has a right to take on any party; it could be a Government contractor or any third party at the behest of the Government.”

Ramjattan sought to justify the Government’s decision on the grounds that retendering would cause a loss of time.

Father Meerabux had also noted that the fact Ramjattan had advocated on behalf of Fedders Lloyd after it was disqualified was enough reason for there to be questions about whether or not the Minister used his influence in Government to ensure that the company was engaged in completion of the project.

“There is a conflict of interest with Mr Khemraj Ramjattan and that rivals transparency and there should be a retendering of the whole process,” Father Meerabux said.

But Ramjattan rubbished the TIGI President’s argument, noting that there was no conflict of interest.

“There is absolutely no conflict of interest; rather it is the remedying of an injustice done,” Ramjattan argued.

The Public Security Minister, who had represented Fedders Lloyd, further sought to justify his argument by accusing the former People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Administration of victimising the company by falsely claiming it was disqualified as he sought to accuse the team of technical officers who evaluated the bid and disqualified Fedders Lloyd of carrying out political instructions.

Ramjattan said the company had the competency to construct the hospital, having a history of constructing over 80 similar projects around the world.

Ever since the coalition Government moved to sign the MoU with Fedders Lloyd in November, there have been heaps of criticism from anti-corruption activists, especially over the fact that Ramjattan, who is also a Vice President, had a very close association with the company.

Chartered Accountant Christopher Ram, a staunch supporter of the APNU/AFC coalition, recently declared that the Government should revisit the entire transaction.

Another transparency advocate, Economist Ramon Gaskin had said that Government should have moved to retender in the first place, pointing out that even before this report was made public, there was already a shadow of corruption hanging over the selection of Fedders Lloyd, since the company’s Attorney, Khemraj Ramjattan, was now a Government Minister.

“Scrap the whole thing and retender… (Because) they (the Government) lied to the public,” Gaskin declared.

“They are supposed to open this matter for tendering process and they are supposed to allow other people an opportunity… Ramjattan is a senior member of the Cabinet and he is in a position of kind of a conflict of interest…,” former Government Minister and political commentator, Dr Henry Jeffrey had told Guyana Times.

In 2012, a US$18 million contract was awarded to India-based Company Surendra Engineering, which was tasked with designing and building the controversial facility. The funding was provided by the Indian Government through a Line of Credit.

In January, the contractor’s services were terminated owing to several contractual breaches. The matter was taken to the High Court and compensation was accordingly awarded to the Government.

Original Post
skeldon_man posted:

So this means third selection. You get the winner, first runner up and then second runner up. Isn't third place also ran?

There was no First Runner Up.  On a serious note, retendering would simple be a perfunctory process.

Billy Ram Balgobin posted:

Dem boys re-started projects that they killed in parliament with their one seat majority. Is this a sign that they don't know else to do but to continue with what the previous gov't. initiated??? 

The coalition killed the hospital project when they were in opposition because the bogus contractor the PPP used was a pack of tiefmen with no experience and the PPP was using them for the big kickbacks. Their fears became a reality when the contractor ran away with millions of hard earned Guyanese taxpayer dollars.

"Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan, a key figure at the centre of the controversy, told Guyana Times that there was no need for a fresh procurement process and Fedders Lloyd would be the company completing the project, despite the fact that it had been disqualified from the initial bidding process.

“Absolutely we do not see the need for retendering. We see, however, the need to give it to Fedders Lloyd in this case … as I quoted that you can give it to any third party and any third party meaning Fedders Lloyd, whether he is disqualified or not,” Ramjattan told Guyana Times.“The Government of the day has a right to take on any party; it could be a Government contractor or any third party at the behest of the Government.”

Ramjattan sought to justify the Government’s decision on the grounds that retendering would cause a loss of time."


 

If this is true response from Khemraj,he is out of line the building of the hospital is not under his Ministry or is it??

Django posted:

"Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan, a key figure at the centre of the controversy, told Guyana Times that there was no need for a fresh procurement process and Fedders Lloyd would be the company completing the project, despite the fact that it had been disqualified from the initial bidding process.

“Absolutely we do not see the need for retendering. We see, however, the need to give it to Fedders Lloyd in this case … as I quoted that you can give it to any third party and any third party meaning Fedders Lloyd, whether he is disqualified or not,” Ramjattan told Guyana Times.“The Government of the day has a right to take on any party; it could be a Government contractor or any third party at the behest of the Government.”

Ramjattan sought to justify the Government’s decision on the grounds that retendering would cause a loss of time."


 

If this is true response from Khemraj,he is out of line the building of the hospital is not under his Ministry or is it??

I agree with you. He should recuse himself from this storm in a tea cup.

skeldon_man posted:

Django is a closet PPP supporter. He doesn't want to be harassed by some of these PNC thugs here. He doesn't want to hide under his bed. Django Bhai, dis ah Amrika, you get justus hey. Nah frikken dem blackman and blackman supportah.  Dem ah krismuss blo blo.

Skelly..i am here a while and was not posting , i try to be cool with every one,i am Indo Guyanese to the bone and not afraid of no one big or small,i see every one as humans if someone erred and i can assist i surely do it,my friends say i am a crazy fella.

I was always a PPP supporter until recently i withdraw my support,i back the coalition for one specific reason i detest one party rule in any country,it open avenues for authoritarian rule,Guyana politically is divided by thin line,i hope one day the people abandon the race based voting,show the two  dinosaurs who is the boss,the country need a new party with young blood who have visions to develop the country,too much old farts sitting around twiddling their thumbs and collect huge salary.The country will never see massive development not in my life time.I ain't no spring chicken.

Django posted:
skeldon_man posted:

Django is a closet PPP supporter. He doesn't want to be harassed by some of these PNC thugs here. He doesn't want to hide under his bed. Django Bhai, dis ah Amrika, you get justus hey. Nah frikken dem blackman and blackman supportah.  Dem ah krismuss blo blo.

Skelly..i am here a while and was not posting , i try to be cool with every one,i am Indo Guyanese to the bone and not afraid of no one big or small,i see every one as humans if someone erred and i can assist i surely do it,my friends say i am a crazy fella.

I was always a PPP supporter until recently i withdraw my support,i back the coalition for one specific reason i detest one party rule in any country,it open avenues for authoritarian rule,Guyana politically is divided by thin line,i hope one day the people abandon the race based voting,show the two  dinosaurs who is the boss,the country need a new party with young blood who have visions to develop the country,too much old farts sitting around twiddling their thumbs and collect huge salary.The country will never see massive development not in my life time.I ain't no spring chicken.

You are RIGHT to call Moses an overpaid OLD FART.

skeldon_man posted:

You call this a storm in a tea cup? What would you have called it if Ramjattan was with the PPP administration and he did this? A tsunami?

This is not part of his Ministry's decision. Surendra was the Tsunami. FL is better qualified and has the financial backing.

Mitwah posted:
Nehru posted:

Django, I myself said give the Coalition a chance to prove me wrong, they did not take long to validate all my fears.  What is your excuse???

What's the alternative?

I think Django's vision is an excellent one.

skeldon_man posted:

I agree with Django's vision. However, do you see young vibrant inviduals in NA willing to leave and go to Guyana and face the danger of daily life?

The young people here are not even interested to visit Guyana for a few days.

skeldon_man posted:

I agree with Django's vision. However, do you see young vibrant inviduals in NA willing to leave and go to Guyana and face the danger of daily life?

Man, that's waan stupit question, not even the successful "old-bai" Django willing to leave the protection of the US cops to goa Guyana fuh get choke and rob, much less them young people.  But dem gatt couple bais waiting in the slip in the US fuh lil minista wuk.  Anyway, dem gatt fu wait till the PNC geriatric to move off, then there are the 60 something PNC spring-fowls in fuss line.  Everyone just have to have patience, but sh1t, there is 2020.

baseman posted:
skeldon_man posted:

I agree with Django's vision. However, do you see young vibrant inviduals in NA willing to leave and go to Guyana and face the danger of daily life?

Man, that's waan stupit question, not even the successful "old-bai" Django willing to leave the protection of the US cops to goa Guyana fuh get choke and rob, much less them young people.  But dem gatt couple bais waiting in the slip in the US fuh lil minista wuk.  Anyway, dem gatt fu wait till the PNC geriatric to move off, then there are the 60 something PNC spring-fowls in fuss line.  Everyone just have to have patience, but sh1t, there is 2020.

Django posted:
skeldon_man posted:

I agree with Django's vision. However, do you see young vibrant inviduals in NA willing to leave and go to Guyana and face the danger of daily life?

That individual must come from the homeland.

If that individual is from the homeland, he or she will think no differently from those who have been leading them. Not a smart decision.

Mitwah posted:
skeldon_man posted:

I agree with Django's vision. However, do you see young vibrant inviduals in NA willing to leave and go to Guyana and face the danger of daily life?

The young people here are not even interested to visit Guyana for a few days.

True ...when i mentioned to the kids let's take a trip they refused.

I will asked them where aluh barn.

skeldon_man posted:

I agree with Django's vision. However, do you see young vibrant inviduals in NA willing to leave and go to Guyana and face the danger of daily life?

You can count yourself out u old fart ,guyana can do with out people like you 

skeldon_man posted:
Django posted:
skeldon_man posted:

I agree with Django's vision. However, do you see young vibrant inviduals in NA willing to leave and go to Guyana and face the danger of daily life?

That individual must come from the homeland.

If that individual is from the homeland, he or she will think no differently from those who have been leading them. Not a smart decision.

skeldon_man posted:
Django posted:
skeldon_man posted:

I agree with Django's vision. However, do you see young vibrant inviduals in NA willing to leave and go to Guyana and face the danger of daily life?

That individual must come from the homeland.

If that individual is from the homeland, he or she will think no differently from those who have been leading them. Not a smart decision.

Some day bhai one will emerge.

Fedders Lloyd MoU reeks of corruption – Gaskin, Jeffrey

– Finance Ministry says no contract awarded yet

BY DEVINA SAMAROO

 

On the heels of an intense public hue and cry over the secrecy and implementation of exorbitant ministerial salary

Dr Henry Jeffrey

Dr Henry Jeffrey

increases, the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Administration struck again, as another public outrage erupted over the lack of transparency surrounding the new arrangements for the construction of the controversial Specialty Hospital.
Criticisms continue to mount over the sole-sourcing of Indian company Fedders Lloyd to undertake the site evaluation and construction of the facility and the lack of reasoning regarding why the current Administration deemed the project impractical under the former regime, as political commentators, Dr Henry Jeffrey and Ramon Gaskin join in expressing their concerns over this publicly perceived act of corruption.
Dr Jeffrey, during an interview with Guyana Times on Saturday, pointed out that secrecy shrouded the entire process, adding that there is a complete lack of transparency in the undertaking.
“It is quite clear that these people criticised the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) about openness and transparency and tendering process and they’ve broken all in one stroke,” he posited.
It is a known fact that Public Security Minister and Vice President Khemraj Ramjattan is a close affiliate of the Fedders Lloyd Construction Company and for this very reason, there should have been a tendering

Ramon Gaskin

Ramon Gaskin

process; Dr Jeffery contended. He highlighted too, that as a matter of law, the project should have been put to tender.
“They are supposed to open this matter for tendering process and they are supposed to allow other people an opportunity…Ramjattan is a senior member of the Cabinet and he is in a position of kind of a conflict of interest and therefore, they (Government) have to be even more transparent than the PPP/C,” he reasoned.
Ramjattan is the legal representative of the Indian firm and for this reason; he was almost hauled before the Committee of Privileges on the charge of failing to declare pecuniary interests in matters debated in the National Assembly. Ramjattan was said to be in a “conflict of interest” position over his legal representation of the Fedders Lloyd Corporation, which he then believed,  was cheated of the contract to build the Specialty Hospital. Contentions were made that Ramjattan had political, rather than legitimate motives, for objecting to the US$18.1 million contract for the design and construction of the hospital which was awarded to Surendra Engineering Company.
“The whole situation is absurd… here they go again… another issue that will remain in the consciousness of the people and Local Government Elections is just around the corner,” Dr Jeffrey expressed.
Political commentator Ramon Gaskin raised similar points as he questioned the backpedalling of the coalition Government’s initial stance on the Specialty Hospital Project.
“There is a lot of inconsistency here… we were told that they would not be proceeding with it at all and now suddenly you hear, they are proceeding with it, so there is a lot of inconsistency,” Gaskin pointed out.
He explained that the entire situation appears to be laced with a hint of corruption given the close relationship between Ramjattan and the company that was single-handedly selected to construction a facility which the APNU+AFC coalition had vigorously rejected in the past.
“It now looks like an inside job that the Minister probably arranged for these people (company) to get this thing (project); it looks like that in the eyes of the public… It sounds like a corrupt transaction and we need to know more about it,” Gaskin said.

 

Retendering
Calls are being made from all sections of society for a retendering of the process. Critics asserted that since the project falls under a new arrangement, then there also needs to be a new tendering process.
“Well it is my opinion that, if indeed the hospital should go forward, then it must be retendered. It should be retendered because the first tender was scrapped and now if Government wants to proceed with it (the project), it has to be retendered. You can’t just call the other guy and give it to him, it doesn’t work like that,” Gaskin explained.
Dr Jeffrey shared similar views as he too called on the new Administration to cancel the contract with Fedders Lloyd and put the matter to tender.
President of Transparency Institute of Guyana Inc (TIGI) Calvin Bernard is also quoted in another section of the media calling for the project to be opened to tender. “Bottom line is it should go back to tender,” he stated.
On the other hand, Government adamantly maintains that there is no time to put the matter to tender. Private Sector Commission Chairman Norman McLean supported Government’s position, claiming “I don’t see a problem. Do you want them to go over the same bidding process again?” he questioned.
Meanwhile, both Dr Jeffrey and Gaskin are calling on the Government for more information about their version of the Specialty Hospital Project.
For Dr Jeffrey, he is demanding to know why the Government flip-flopped on its initial posture towards this project.
“I don’t even think they have explained clearly to people why having the Specialty Hospital now is different from having it under the PPP/C… why is it… what has happened to make this sudden change around… they need to say clearly what differentiates this project from the PPP/C project,” Dr Jeffrey stated.
Public Health Minister, Dr George Norton had told Guyana Times that his Administration was not “properly informed” about the project, hence its initial position towards it.
“… if Guyanese were going to be employed in this hospital, if Guyanese have to pay to receive treatment in this hospital, what types of treatment, are the Guyanese students going to be taught there. These are things that were not coming through with regards to the bidding of the contract to build the hospital,” Dr Norton stated.
The Specialty Hospital, a project initiated by the PPP/C Administration, is aimed at catering for complicated surgeries, ranging from heart operations, organ transplants to cosmetic surgeries.
In 2012, an US$18 million contract was awarded to India-based Company Surendra Engineering, which was tasked with designing and building the controversial facility. The funding was provided by the Indian Government through a Line of Credit. In January, the contractor’s services were terminated owing to several contractual breaches. The matter was taken to the High Court and compensation was accordingly awarded to the Government. (devinas@guyanatimesgy.com)

Mit,

It has not been a year yet and this new gov't. has already come under heavy fire from supporters, independent groups, and individuals about the poor management of the economy, fat pay raises for the big wigs, contracts to shell companies, firing of Indo-Guyanese from the public sector, rising crime, decline in export earnings, 28% drop in arrivals, relatively few shoppers in Georgetown business districts, and shameful job creation for more ministers, vice presidents, ambassadors, diplomats, etc., etc., etc..  How the hell these people think they are going to get the votes of Guyanese people?

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