18 Jan

Communities Ministry wrong

first_imgDear Editor,A letter by the Ministry of Communities published in another section of the media on November 12, 2016, captioned ‘Ministry of Communities accuses Berbice Councillor of politicking’. This letter was written by the Research Officer to the Minister, Mr Mark DaCosta.If he had done some ‘research’, being the Research Officer, he would have known that in our application for the Subvention we clearly outlined that 33 streets need urgent repairs and that we need 4 drainage tubes to alleviate our flooding problems. We applied for ‘crusher run’ to effect these repairs gave a detailed breakdown of the amounts and the estimated costs. Subsequently, we wrote to the RDC Chairman informing him of our capacity to do these repairs and he agreed. This type of repairs do not require great engineering skills we were not doing new roads and the residents were willing to provide the required manpower since we do have a tractor, a heavy duty roller and a Hymac. But even then we should have been informed about our ‘incapacity’ to do the work instead of being briskly informed by the REO (ag) that ‘all works have been tendered out’. Is this the right manner of communication? This is total disregard for the NDC!Mr DaCosta treated a very important aspect of empowerment as though it was trivial matter. The Procurement Act Chapter 73:05, Section 21(a) makes for the creation of a District Tender Board for procurement by NDCs and will comprise three members of which one must come from the relevant NDC. This is to ensure that in the cases where NDC works are tendered out then that NDC must have a representative on the Tender Board to overlook its interest. This law gives life to the empowerment to the NDC.Mr DaCosta then did a spin and said that ‘the preference of the council for the works to be done by the NDC (for which the NDC had no capacity) was communicated to the REO (ag), Mr Claude Henry, after the work had already been awarded’. How can this be when we were even asked by an official of the RDC where we want the ‘crusher run’ to be deposited? We wrote to the RDC since September 3rd, 2016 and we received the reply from the REO (ag) on November 1st. The letter was dated October 25th, 2016. Why did it take nearly two months for him to send us a one-line letter? This is a mockery to empowerment! Can Mr DaCosta tell us the date when this ‘tendering out’ was done? As a Research Officer he must know that dates are important. I provided dates in my letter. How can we verify the accuracy of what he has written? NDCs must be involved in the tendering process if this Government wants to truly empower NDC!He submitted that ‘When proposals are submitted to the Ministry by an NDC they are analyzed and approved as is, or they are returned to the NDC for clarification or alteration. The Ministry is not in the business of altering proposals or of generating proposals for NDCs.’ I have never accused the Ministry of any such practice what I simply said was that we were not informed about ‘what projects will be done, by whom and at what cost’. We have submitted proposals to repair 33 streets and to install 4 drainage tubes. Are we to assume that all of these will be done when the Regional Engineer told the NDC’s Overseer that all the works itemized in our subvention cannot be done with million? I wish to submit here again that the entire tender process is flawed and illegal and the establishment of the District Tender Board would have avoided this type of problem where the NDC is unaware of what is being tendered, who won the award and at what cost, yet the Ministry has the audacity to justify its position! This is deceit!In conclusion, in all my letters I have made bold attempts to bring to public focus many factual issues affecting regional and community development and Mr DaCosta’s letter is a ludicrous attempt to distort and invalidate the facts contained in my letter and to hoodwink the public!Yours sincerely,Haseef YusufChairman-KilcoyHampshire NDCRDC Councillorlast_img

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