Categorized | Local, News

Public Servants to pay for “carelessness”

_7613835963
Governor Adrian Davis

Put an end to abuse  of procurement rules – a problem

by Bennette Roach

Continued questions of abuse of the Procurement Regulations have resulted in His Excellency Governor Adrian Davis cautioning that civil servants who leave the government exposed to action in the court could be surcharged. He beseeched public servants to adhere to procurement rules while addressing the issue at his overdue monthly press conference on Wednesday, June 12, 2013.

In their February 2013 Aide Memoire, that delayed the approval of the UK Department For International Development’s (DFID) budgetary aid support, and which impacted the budget presentation in March, DFID had accused, “There appears to be problems with, (i) the adequacy of the procurement regulations; (ii) the lack of procurement and contract management guidelines; and, (iii) limited technical expertise in GoM resulting in misinterpretation of the existing regulations.

They noted problems then, A number of procurement and contract management issues arose in year which significantly affected the delivery of both capital projects and government services.  They cited, “delays to Lookout School and the A1 road upgrade,” which was eventually suspended. By that time also there were investigations ongoing regarding the Public Works Department (PWD) workshop, which also was recently closed._4524807263

The Aide Memoire said that, “GoM agreed that an ‘across the board’ review of procurement regulations and guidelines, accompanied by staff training, is a priority,” DFID offering, “This work could be assisted by Short Term Technical Corporation (STTC) and will be supported by DFID if a request is made.”

Meanwhile affected members in the community had written letters on the procurement issues to GoM and to the Foreign Commonwealth Office. By the end of May, there were further questions this time with the Montserrat Development Corporation (MDC) and its program of works at Little Bay, which saw questions arising in the Legislative Assembly by the Opposition Leader, Donaldson Romeo. He had also written letters to the Governor and the MDC board on related issues.

The press had also taken up some of the issues with the Premier at press conference around the same time the Opposition Leader was carrying out his investigations. (see: http://tinyurl.com/l4d2hsb and http://tinyurl.com/ktkt5fa.)

On Wednesday, Governor Davis responded to questions about his response to letters written to him on the procurement issues. He puts down the evolving problems to “carelessness”, but at the same time advising that GoM are in the making plans to have public (civil) servants be accountable and pay for their “carelessness”, when Government becomes exposed. It should be noted that all government bodies and organisations including the MDC and statutory bodies are bound by the 2012 Procurement Act.

_9882106780Governor Davis: “There have been problems of officials not following procurement rules and that has led to problems with me PWD workshop contract, the Lookout school, he said. “So far it seems to be carelessness rather than anything else and it is absolutely clear that procurements in Montserrat is a potential minefield which will open us up to legal challenges if we don’t follow the rules.”

The Governor had later noted that he felt Montserratians were quick to seek the court intervention on matters, but in discussion the press pointed out this was because of the prevalence of what he referred to as carelessness which seriously affected people.

He said further, “We have to follow the rules and where we haven’t we have to find out why and be determined not for it to happen again,” qualifying, “but so far everything I have seen, suggest that where rules have not been followed, it has primarily been as a result of carelessness which cannot and should not be condoned.”_2224782101

He then expressed government’s intention to take action that might abate the problems. “…it was several months ago the Attorney General and Cabinet agreed that where civil servants or anybody else, but civil servants I suppose, who left the government exposed to action in the court, they could be surcharged for that action,” he said.

Governor calls for better training!!

“That’s a fairly powerful stake,” he said, adding, “ I would like also to imply a carrot which is about better training of civil servants but they really must understand that this is one of the most important things they have to deal with – that procurements are open to all sorts of challenges, and rightly to challenge if we don’t follow the rules,” he concluded.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

_7613835963
Governor Adrian Davis

Put an end to abuse  of procurement rules – a problem

by Bennette Roach

Continued questions of abuse of the Procurement Regulations have resulted in His Excellency Governor Adrian Davis cautioning that civil servants who leave the government exposed to action in the court could be surcharged. He beseeched public servants to adhere to procurement rules while addressing the issue at his overdue monthly press conference on Wednesday, June 12, 2013.

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In their February 2013 Aide Memoire, that delayed the approval of the UK Department For International Development’s (DFID) budgetary aid support, and which impacted the budget presentation in March, DFID had accused, “There appears to be problems with, (i) the adequacy of the procurement regulations; (ii) the lack of procurement and contract management guidelines; and, (iii) limited technical expertise in GoM resulting in misinterpretation of the existing regulations.

They noted problems then, A number of procurement and contract management issues arose in year which significantly affected the delivery of both capital projects and government services.  They cited, “delays to Lookout School and the A1 road upgrade,” which was eventually suspended. By that time also there were investigations ongoing regarding the Public Works Department (PWD) workshop, which also was recently closed._4524807263

The Aide Memoire said that, “GoM agreed that an ‘across the board’ review of procurement regulations and guidelines, accompanied by staff training, is a priority,” DFID offering, “This work could be assisted by Short Term Technical Corporation (STTC) and will be supported by DFID if a request is made.”

Meanwhile affected members in the community had written letters on the procurement issues to GoM and to the Foreign Commonwealth Office. By the end of May, there were further questions this time with the Montserrat Development Corporation (MDC) and its program of works at Little Bay, which saw questions arising in the Legislative Assembly by the Opposition Leader, Donaldson Romeo. He had also written letters to the Governor and the MDC board on related issues.

The press had also taken up some of the issues with the Premier at press conference around the same time the Opposition Leader was carrying out his investigations. (see: http://tinyurl.com/l4d2hsb and http://tinyurl.com/ktkt5fa.)

On Wednesday, Governor Davis responded to questions about his response to letters written to him on the procurement issues. He puts down the evolving problems to “carelessness”, but at the same time advising that GoM are in the making plans to have public (civil) servants be accountable and pay for their “carelessness”, when Government becomes exposed. It should be noted that all government bodies and organisations including the MDC and statutory bodies are bound by the 2012 Procurement Act.

_9882106780Governor Davis: “There have been problems of officials not following procurement rules and that has led to problems with me PWD workshop contract, the Lookout school, he said. “So far it seems to be carelessness rather than anything else and it is absolutely clear that procurements in Montserrat is a potential minefield which will open us up to legal challenges if we don’t follow the rules.”

The Governor had later noted that he felt Montserratians were quick to seek the court intervention on matters, but in discussion the press pointed out this was because of the prevalence of what he referred to as carelessness which seriously affected people.

He said further, “We have to follow the rules and where we haven’t we have to find out why and be determined not for it to happen again,” qualifying, “but so far everything I have seen, suggest that where rules have not been followed, it has primarily been as a result of carelessness which cannot and should not be condoned.”_2224782101

He then expressed government’s intention to take action that might abate the problems. “…it was several months ago the Attorney General and Cabinet agreed that where civil servants or anybody else, but civil servants I suppose, who left the government exposed to action in the court, they could be surcharged for that action,” he said.

Governor calls for better training!!

“That’s a fairly powerful stake,” he said, adding, “ I would like also to imply a carrot which is about better training of civil servants but they really must understand that this is one of the most important things they have to deal with – that procurements are open to all sorts of challenges, and rightly to challenge if we don’t follow the rules,” he concluded.