Systems overlooking public spending must be strong -President tells new PPC members
With Guyana embarking on a transformative developmental path, President Dr. Irfaan Ali highlighted that institutional mechanisms, which allow public expenditure from the government coffers, must not only be strong but continually renewed in order to advance and enhance transparency and accountability.
President Ali was at the time addressing newly sworn-in members of the Public Procurement Commission (PPC) at his Shiv Chanderpaul Drive, Georgetown office on Friday.
“The job of the Public Procurement Commission is one that adds to that tier of institutional mechanism that we have established as a country to ensure oversight of public financing, in this case, oversight of procurement, so that whatever we do falls under the umbrella of transparent democratic and open governance,” President Ali said.
The Head of State reminded the commissioners that their role and responsibility should not be underestimated as he alluded to specific skill sets required by the constitution for the appointments.
However, he highlighted that he has full confidence that the combined experience, knowledge, and diverse expertise of the members will add value to their work and bring the necessary benefit to the country.
Four of the five nominated members of the commission were sworn in on Friday; they are government nominees Rajnarine Singh and Joel Bhagwandin and opposition nominees Diana Rajkumar and Berkeley Wickham.
The remaining government nominee, attorney-at-law Pauline Chase is currently out of the country and will be sworn in during the course of the new week, President Ali disclosed.
The purpose of the PPC, as outlined in Article 212 AA of the Constitution, is to monitor and review the functioning of all public procurement systems to ensure that they are in accordance with law and such policy guidelines as may be determined by the National Assembly.
Meanwhile, the final member of the Public Service Commission (PSC), Hakeem Mohamed was also sworn in on Friday making that commission fully functional. The PSC was sworn in on May 31, 2022, and is chaired by Bishop Patrick Findlay.
The Teaching Service Commission (TSC) and the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) are the two remaining constitutional commissions to be appointed. That was supposed to be done on Friday as well, however, President Ali disclosed that issues with membership are yet to be sorted.
“We are hoping that the final set of recommendations in allowing the appointment can be made in the shortest possible timeframe so we can proceed with the appointment of these two commissions in our effort to bring all the commissions into operations which is part of our governance framework,” President Ali said.