Jagdeo takes on Harmon over release of project contracts

January 12, 2020 0 Comments

first_imgMinister of State Joseph Harmon disclosed on Thursday that Government cannot locate the contracts of two major projects that were signed under the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Administration; however, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo is saying otherwise.Opposition Leader Bharrat JagdeoMinister of State Joseph HarmonAt the post-Cabinet briefing on Thursday, Harmon disclosed that contracts for two controversial projects initiated by the former Administration – the Specialty Hospital and the Amaila Falls Hydro Projects – are yet to be located.He was at the time responding to questions about the release of contracts for PPP/C-projects, which Government stated are marred in corruption. The Opposition Leader had stated on Wednesday that there is nothing preventing the coalition from releasing these documents; however, Harmon the following day posited that confidentiality clauses in most of the contracts are preventing the State from making them public.“I can say this to Mr Jagdeo, there are some contracts that have so much confidentiality about them that are so deeply buried, until now, I cannot see them… I can make reference to two such contracts; one, the Specialty Hospital… and the second one has to do with the Amaila Falls contract, never seen them,” he remarked.The Minister of State went on to say that while in Opposition, they were never shown these contracts even though they were briefed about the projects.“… While we were in the Opposition, we were invited here to these offices to meetings and were told by the (PPP/C) Government that these were confidential arrangements and we are basically briefing you on some of them. But where is the contract, where is it?” Harmon questioned.In fact, he further noted that as of Thursday morning, before the post Cabinet briefing, Finance Minister Winston Jordan had indicated that he is yet to see the Specialty Hospital contract.However, Jagdeo has rubbished the utterances by the State official, saying, “In both cases, I can prove a different story”.The Opposition Leader questioned how can Government say it cannot find the contract or the evaluation report for the Specialty Hospital Project, when they used the same documents to support the appointment of India-based company Fedders Lloyd Corporation Limited.“It was the same evaluation report that the [A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change] APNU/AFC Government used to justify their push of Fedders Lloyd as the new contractor, claiming that that company was ranked number two in the evaluation report, a contention that was proven to be inaccurate,” Jagdeo outlined in a statement on Friday.Moreover, according to the former President, he is reliably informed that the Donald Ramotar Administration gave several briefings to APNU/AFC on the Amaila Falls Hydropower Project, during which most of the technical documents were shared with them.He added too that “I am also aware that in the post-election period, a CD containing the documents related to the Amaila Project was given to a Cabinet Sub-committee. It is not my fault if they don’t even know what they have.  Mr Harmon can easily check that CD and find the documents,” the Opposition Leader posited.Nevertheless, Jagdeo opined that the coalition Administration is fearful of releasing the evaluation reports and contracts for projects they dubbed corrupt because they would in turn be exposed for misleading the public in this regard.“At the end of the day, APNU/AFC cannot run from its promise of being transparent and accountable to the Guyanese people. They have a responsibility to release the evaluation reports and contracts for those projects under the PPP/C they labelled as corrupt,” the former President stated.last_img read more