GDF should not participate in the public tendering process


Mr. Editor,

I read an article in the Village Voice online newspaper from November 10, 2021, titled “GDF Wins $ 44.4 Million Contract to Build Hospital”. The story was also published in other sections of the media. I find the participation of the Guyana Defense Forces (GDF) in any public tendering process extraordinary, and I am surprised that the Private Sector Commission (PSC) and our chambers of commerce have let this go.

I’ll get right to the point, the Guyana Defense Force is a state agency and is state funded, the president is the commander-in-chief and the Defense Board is a state entity, so GDF cannot bid for a government contract without the knowledge of the President and the Defense Council. In addition, GDF cannot participate in a public procurement process (tender / tender) with private sector entities, as such, this contract must be made null and void.

A few years ago when GDF was involved in charter flights, I think members of the private sector, rightly so, had issues with the decision, so what is it now. Mr. Gerry Gouveia is the national security adviser, as well as a former chairman of the PSC, surely he must know that this is unfair competition and should advise the government accordingly.

Can the Guyana Defense Force advise if the computers that were used to type the bid or the means of transport used to submit the bid were not purchased with public funds or donated by a foreign government? Or that the staff who put together the bid were not trained with government funds or at any time received training from foreign governments.

How does a foreign government explain to its citizens that their tax support contributes to the Guyana Defense Force’s ability to participate in unfair competition (bidding) with the private sector? Will the salary paid to GDF members who will work on this project come from public funds or from the project? Will their salaries be stopped while they are working on this project and will they resume when the project is completed? Will their pensions and other benefits for the period of construction of the hospital also be stopped?

There are clear dividing lines for government and state agency and private sector operations that include different accountability requirements. While I understand that members of the Guyana Defense Force are highly skilled and skilled, and that there is room to become more involved in applying their expertise to other areas of development, this needs to be done appropriately. GDF engineers may be seconded to the Ministry of Public Works with oversight or monitoring and evaluation roles or even active construction roles, but GDF cannot compete with the private sector in appeals processes. offers for contracts.

President Irfaan Ali presents Guyana as a leader, but Guyana cannot be a leader, regionally and internationally, if it does not conform to established norms, values ​​and principles. What will distinguish Guyana as a leader is when our leaders and institutions adhere to regional and international principles and standards. The principles are universal and are an essential element in finding common ground with other countries, regions and at the international level. Moreover, the GDF should not have budgetary problems as Guyana has US $ 534 million in the Natural Resources Fund (NRF) or what is called the oil money fund.

It is unfair competition, and it should not be allowed.

Yours faithfully,

Citizen Audreyanna Thomas


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