Coalition paid mysterious Florida company to print certificates instead of local printers – Teixeira
The former APNU+AFC government had moved away from the longstanding practice of using local printers to produce Guyanese birth certificates and had paid an uncertain Florida, U.S.A registered company millions to print thousands of the documents.
Minister of Governance and Parliamentary Affairs Gail Teixeira raised concerns over the arrangement, particularly since the contract was signed by an APNU+AFC supporter Larry London who is also the controversial coordinator of the D’Urban Park project which was shrouded in secrecy and financial impropriety.
It was revealed when the government changed in August that London was also hired by the APNU+AFC government as Director of Parks, although he was resident abroad, receiving a net salary of $500,000 per month and his electricity, internet, and telephone bills paid by the State. He also had guards at his home, a driver and a car, duty-free allowance for the highest grade of vehicle, and a gratuity of 22.5 percent every six months.
Some 20,000 birth certificates were reportedly ordered from the company between 2019 and 2020 and paid USD$150,000.
Teixeira in confirming that the contract was signed by London said she was unsure of the due diligence done before hiring the company.
“It’s the first time I’m hearing of it [the company]. Having been a Minister of Home Affairs I know birth certificates used to be published in Guyana with local printers with strict security,” she added.
The House, resolved into Committee of Supply, was at the time considering the estimates of expenditure for January 2020 to September 2020 under Citizenship and Immigration Services.
A google search for the Florida registered company – Universal Procurement Services Inc.- turned up empty.