What is the gap in our new Public Procurement law?

The previous article dealt with the sudden unexplained shift from the supposedly-defective Public Procurement & Disposal of Public Property Act (the Act) to the welcome announcement of its proclamation, so long-overdue. I called for an official explanation for this sudden shift, but there has been no response thus far.

The silence of our Learned friends on this issue is as echoing and eerie as it is eloquent. These colleagues have opinions on so much else. Yes, Power is defined by those things you are not allowed to speak about, so self-censorship is as real as the nose on your face. Well I tell you eh!

This article will challenge the basis for the 2020 exemptions to the Act (via Act #27 of 2020), which included Government to Government Agreements (G2G are usually the hugest projects); matters of national security; legal services; debt financing services for the national budget; accounting and auditing services; medical emergency or other scheduled medical services. The Government decided that these transactions in Public Money did not require the oversight of the Office of Procurement Regulation (OPR) which the Parliament approved. I think that inimical to the public interest.

Continue reading “What is the gap in our new Public Procurement law?”

Manufactured Consent in new Public Procurement law?

“Ambiguity and silence is the enemy of #ethics and #integrity.”

Richard Bistrong @Richardbistrong Twitter feed. Dec 5, 2019

“‘Manufactured consent’ is supported by…effective and powerful ideological institutions that carry out a system-supportive propaganda function by reliance on market forces, internalized assumptions, and self-censorship, and without overt coercion.”

Noam Chomsky, Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media 1988, (New York: Pantheon Books)

The Public Procurement & Disposal of Public Property Act (the Act) was fully proclaimed on Wednesday 26 April 2023, which makes that one of our Republic’s truly historic days by any measure.

I welcomed the decision to proclaim the Act, since even with the damaging suite of 2020 exemptions, this is a tremendous step in the right direction of Accountability, Transparency and Good Governance so that we can achieve improved Value for Money in our Public Affairs. The Private Sector Civil Society Group wrote and lobbied for this important law, so this is the result of long-term, collective effort. We owe serious appreciation to those who persisted when this was a faraway vision.

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VIDEO: The Constitutional Imbroglio delaying the Public Procurement law in Trinidad and Tobago

This is an interview with Trinidadian journalist and television host, Fazeer Mohammed, on Saturday, 25 March 2023 detailing this serious challenge to implementation of the Public Procurement & Disposal of Public Property Act.

  • Programme Date: 25 March 2023
  • Programme Length: 00:52:48
Video courtesy Afra Raymond

Chapters’ timeline

  • 15:11 to 17:05 Afra Raymond calls on the Law Association of Trinidad and Tobago (LATT) to convene an examination of the Constitution Imbroglio

  • 19:45 to 20:50 LATT should call out the Judiciary’s 29-page note—unsupported—to the Attorney General

  • 22:44 to 25:25 Cost of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Roger Gaspard, SC’s new office space and the scandalous decision of the AGLA to accept those terms.

  • 26:51 to 27:48 DPP Gaspard must explain the apparent inaction in the CL Financial matter based on the Colman Report

  • 33.42 to 34:56 Disturbing existing Arrangements

  • 46:26 to 47.24 (or to 47:49) CJ batting well outside his crease! Judicial Educational Institute

VIDEO: Caribbean Corporate Governance Institute’s Procurement Series 2023, Part 1

Afra Raymond was part of an esteemed panel hosted by the the Caribbean Corporate Governance Institute (CCGI) discussing “The 2010 Uff Report into the Construction Sector in T&T – What have we learnt?” This panel was part of the CCGI’s ongoing online series of discussions on governance matters in the Caribbean, and was hosted by CCGI chairman, Nigel Romano, with Michael Bowsher KC from the UK and John Dowse from Canada.

  • Programme Date: February 7, 2023
  • Programme Length: 02:55:47 (Panel begins at 00:04:38)
Video courtesy Caribbean Corporate Governance Institute

VIDEO: The Public Procurement and Disposal of Property Act: Lets get ready

Ceronne Bayley of Bayley’s Consulting Services specialising in Corporate Governance in Trinidad and Tobago chats with Afra Raymond, Managing Director of Raymond and Pierre about the importance of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Property Act and the need for its swift implementation. This is a part of her series of LinkedIn Live Chats with thought leaders on governance matters in Trinidad and Tobago.

  • Programme Date: Fri, Feb 3, 2023
  • Programme Length: 00:53:20 (Interview begins at 00:22:00)
Video courtesy Bayley’s Consulting Services

Manufactured Dissent

Ambiguity and silence is the enemy of #ethics and #integrity.‘

Richard Bistrong @Richardbistrong

Manufactured consent is supported by “…effective and powerful ideological institutions that carry out a system-supportive propaganda function by reliance on market forces, internalized assumptions, and self-censorship, and without overt coercion…“.

Noam Chomsky

The Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Property Act (PPDPPA or The Act) was approved by Parliament in 2015 and amended three times by this administration. The Regulations to The Act were approved by Parliament in January 2022, so the stage was set for implementation of this important law. This series deals with the intentional series of delays now emerging from our AG and the Judiciary.

Our Judiciary made formal objections to The Act, which was already approved by Parliament. It is a piercing irony that those submissions were unsupported by any citations or research, none whatsoever.

Professional Responsibility is one of the important lenses to examine the new Public Procurement law and the implementation challenges.

Grand Corruption is impossible without the active assistance, advice and scheming of Professionals — Lawyers, Bankers, Accountants, Engineers, Surveyors. The Thieves cannot function without the Professionals, after all, as the old saying goes: “The Upholder is worse than the Thief!” That old saying speaks to the particular responsibilities which are vested in the Professional Class.

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