FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Hon. Michael Pintard
Leader, Free National Movement
DISMAL FAILURE: OPPOSITION RESPONDS TO GOVERNMENT’S FLAGRANT DISREGARD FOR PROCUREMENT ACT
NEW PROVIDENCE, BAHAMAS – The Opposition reads with absolute astonishment the report in the Nassau Guardian of August 31st regarding the government’s utter and complete failure to follow the Procurement Act.
They have now proven to the Bahamian people that the issue never was the 2021 Procurement Act introduced by the FNM. The PLP is determined not to follow even the Procurement Act 2023 that they brought to Parliament. Absolutely no one is surprised that Prime Minister Davis and his team refuse to be accountable.
Prime Minister Davis is almost a year late in providing the public with the annual procurement report detailing every contract approved by the PLP since taking office. Over six months ago, he assured Bahamians that the report would be published imminently. Now we are getting nonsensical excuses from the Ministry of Finance about one agency or the other not uploading information online.
Finance Officials also made the extraordinary and erroneous claim that public agencies can simply choose to go with single bidders as they please. The law allows no such thing. Both the 2021 Act and the more recent 2023 says procurement must be done by competitive bidding except for several circumstances as defined in the law. Section 22 of the Public Procurement Act 2023 expressly states that “the procurement of goods, works and services shall be undertaken by means of competitive bidding”, with the specific exceptions being detailed in the act. The law also requires public agencies to document the reason for using a non- competitive bid process.
We are confident that despite the barrage of indefensible excuses, the Prime Minister, his Cabinet and all senior public officials know exactly what the law says and what their responsibilities are.
The only conclusion that Bahamians can come to is that the Prime Minister and the PLP are determined to break the law and to hide from the Bahamian tax payer how this hapless administration is spending their money. The PLP must have something to hide. Or they simply think that how they spend your hard earned money is somehow none of your business.
Every single day, this non-transparent and wholly unaccountable Davis administration continues to disqualify themselves from the high offices they hold. We are convinced that they simply do not care and will not do better.
August 31, 2023