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Contractor failed to deliver CCTV cameras after 2 years

first_imgDespite ‘emergency’ spending– US-based company has since declared bankruptcyIt was supposed to be an emergency purchase but since monies were sought in 2015 from the Contingencies Fund for Closed Circuit TV (CCTV) cameras for the National Intelligence Centre, the contractor was yet to deliver the equipment as of 2017 year end.This is according to the Auditor General’s 2017 report, which listed this as an unresolved matter. In the report, the CCTV cameras were supposed to have been purchased at a cost of almost $20 million by the Ministry of the Presidency.In responding to the auditor’s findings, the Ministry revealed that local and overseas background checks were being carried out on the contractor, who Guyana Times understands to be a California, United States-based company named Moonblink Communications.The Audit Office recommended that the Ministry of the Presidency either ensure the items were delivered or the money refunded, as soon as possible. But there is a problem. Moonblink Communication has since filed for bankruptcy.When the matter came up before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) last year, the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Abena Moore was called to give account for the status of the undelivered equipment.While she had insisted that the contract, which was sole sourced, was an emergency one, PAC member and Opposition parliamentarian Juan Edghill had at the time disagreed with her. He had noted that the contract could not have been such an emergency if over a year had passed without the items being delivered. December 31, 2017 marked over two years.LawThere are strict rules governing the Contingencies Fund. But in the 2015 Auditor General report, it was found that Government made withdrawals that totalled over $900 million from the Fund. Besides the money for the CCTV cameras, monies were also used for expenses related to the Army, the D’Urban Park Project, and the infamous Sussex Street bond.According to Section 220 (1) of the Constitution of Guyana, “Parliament may make provision for the establishment of a Contingencies Fund and for authorising the Minister responsible for finance to make advances from that Fund if he is satisfied that there is an urgent need for expenditure for which no other provision exists.”Section 220 (2) goes on to say that “Where any advance is made from the Contingencies Fund, a supplementary estimate shall, as soon as practicable, be laid before the National Assembly by Prime Minister or any other Minister designated by the President for the purpose of authorising the replacement of the amount so advanced.”In addition, Section 41 (3) of the Fiscal Management and Accountability (FMA) Act states, “The Minister, when satisfied that an urgent, unavoidable and unforeseen need for expenditure has arisen – (a) for which no monies have been appropriated or for which the sum appropriated is insufficient; (b) for which monies cannot be reallocated as provided for under this Act; or (c) which cannot be deferred without injury to the public interest, may approve a Contingencies Fund advance as an expenditure out of the Consolidated Fund by the issuance of a drawing right.”last_img


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