Response to Attorney General’s excuse for Procurement promulgation

Delaying the Procurement Law is Wrong! ‘rong like a Crix Biscuit!

This is my short video on the Attorney General’s Media Conference on Wednesday, 22 June 2022, and why we need to do better.

Please watch and Share – remember that Silence is the Enemy of Progress!

  • Programme Date: 26 June 2022
  • Programme Length: 00:05:34

VIDEO: THE PANDEMIC ECONOMY – Construction, Procurement and Property Tax – 28 September 2021

Afra Raymond joins a panel on The Pandemic Economy, the pre-budget show on TV6 Television in Trinidad and Tobago, where he and the other speakers discuss the local construction industry and the public debt to it, public procurement along with the soon-to-be-implemented updated Property Tax regime. Video courtesy CCN TV6

  • Programme Date: 28 September 2021
  • Programme Length: 00:27:01

Public Procurement collapse, Part Three

Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi speaks at press conference addressing matters arising from Afra Raymond’s articles and more

The AG’s Press Conference of Monday 21st December 2020 was an attempt to control the government’s critics, while also promoting the notion that the issues arising from the amendment of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Property Act (The Act) are poorly understood by everyone outside the Cabinet. The AG strongly criticised both me and Opposition spokesman, Senator Wade Mark. This had me wondering at both my company and the AG’s opening declaration that what was needed was ‘a studied analysis which is factual and truthful’. Well I tell you.

This article will place in context the recent, damaging changes and rebut those extremely misleading claims.

My essential point is that full implementation of The Act, unduly delayed, is now seriously compromised by the latest amendments. These changes comprise serious exclusions which now place our patrimony in far greater risk.

I will outline the main points so that readers can decide on the validity of the AG’s criticisms. After all, a studied analysis which is factual and truthful is sometimes the only way to make-out fabricators and the existential threat such people pose to our development.

Continue reading “Public Procurement collapse, Part Three”

Public Procurement Collapse, Part Two

The previous article explained that our Parliament reduced independent oversight of the biggest contracts in our country. But all the power is not in Parliament, so it is important to note that civil society has substantial power and influence in these public policy matters.

For example, take the June 2019 attempt by the government to effectively erode citizens’ right to information held by Public Authorities, by amending the Freedom of Information Act (FoIA). On 7 June 2019, Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi, laid proposals in Parliament to extend the existing 30-day time limit for Public Authorities to respond to FoIA requests to 180 days. The 30-day time limit is regularly exceeded by Public Authorities, so the proposed extension would have made nonsense of citizens’ right to information.

Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj, SC. Photo Abraham Diaz

Those of us committed to those rights to information took up the challenge by alerting the public to the perils, led by the Media Association of T&T (MATT) under Dr. Sheila Rampersad’s direction. Our brief, intense campaign culminated in MATT’s overflowing seminar on Saturday 15th June 2019 at Hotel Normandie, with Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj. SC being the powerful and persuasive lead speaker.

The AG withdrew the proposals ‘for further consultation’ and no more was heard on that count. This demonstrates that it is possible, by concerted, focused and informed agitation, to stop detrimental public policies.

Our history is replete with these important lessons. It is important to understand how these changes arise.

Continue reading “Public Procurement Collapse, Part Two”

Public Procurement Collapse, Part I

On Friday 4 December 2020 our Parliament passed the third set of amendments to the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Property Act (The Act). These changes are a serious blow to the long-term campaign for proper control over transactions in Public Money and are extremely detrimental to the public interest. Government to Government Arrangements (G2G), Public Private Partnerships and a range of professional/financial services have been excluded from the oversight of the Office of Procurement Regulation (OPR).

Procurement debate begins at 01:59:55

Our elected representatives proposed to our Parliament that the biggest contracts executed with Public Money were better administered without independent oversight as intended in The Act, passed as Act No 1 of 2015.

Continue reading “Public Procurement Collapse, Part I”

VIDEO: Public Procurement Amendments on Long Story Short (WESN) – 5 December 2020

Afra Raymond appears on WESN’s current affairs programme “Long Story Short” on Saturday 5th December 2020 for an interview with Kejan Haynes on to discuss the contentious amendments to the Public Procurement & Disposal of Public Property Act of Trinidad and Tobago. Video courtesy WESN

  • Programme Date: 5 December 2020
  • Programme Length: 00:15:21

VIDEO: Interview on The Morning Edition – 8 December 2020

Afra Raymond’s interview on TV6 on The Morning Edition with Fazeer Mohammed on the amendments to the Public Procurement & Disposal of Public Property Act in Trinidad and Tobago. Video courtesy CCN TV6

The Amendments to the Procurement Legislation were passed in the lower House on Friday without the support of the Opposition United National Congress, and will e debated in the Upper House today. Prior to the debate, various Civil Society Groups and Business organizations have voiced concerns regarding particular elements to the amendments. We got another view in, Afra Raymond- Past President of the Joint Consultative Council for the Construction Industry.

Courtesy TV6 Morning Edition
  • Programme Date: 8 December 2020
  • Programme Length: 00:31:43

VIDEO: African Association Credit Union of T&T webinar

This is the post-budget webinar presented by the African Association Credit Union of T&T, hosted by Colvin Blaize (Licenced Land Surveyor & Attorney-at-Law). Other guests were Brian Manning MP, Minister in the Ministry of Finance & the Economy and Esric Huggins (Valuation Surveyor) who spoke on the Property Tax. I spoke on Public Procurement & Disposal of Public Property Act delays. Video courtesy AACTT

  • Programme Length: 02:13:32 My presentation begins at 31:55
  • Programme Date: 31 October 2020

VIDEO: Keep It Real on Synergy TV – 8 November 2020

Afra Raymond did this interview on ‘Keeping it Real‘ on Synergy TV with Denice Ramdhan and Andy ‘Pitbull’ Williams to discuss the delay in finalising and implementing the new Public Procurement law. Video courtesy Synergy TV.

  • Programme Date: Sunday 8th November 2020
  • Programme Length: 01:21:03. Interview Starts at 47:01
Keeping It Real Talk Show | Sunday 8th October 2020