GECOM bypassed Cabinet to hand supplier $82M ink contract

first_img… spends $99M on ‘obsolete radios’ 8 days before elections The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) deliberately breached the laws of Guyana to avoid the scrutiny of Cabinet and spent almost $100 million on obsolete High Frequency Radios, five days before it was set to run-off the 2015 General and Regional Elections, in addition to a range of other financial infractions which has since seen the Commission being owned millions of dollars.The damning revelations are documented in the Auditor General’s Annual Report for 2015, prepared by Deodat Sharma and made Public by Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr Barton Scotland, who tabled the document in the House on Thursday.Contract splittingWith regards the avoidance of Cabinet scrutiny, the Auditor General found that GECOM split nine contracts in order to give an $82 million contract to a single supplier.The contracts were for the supply of toner cartridges, stationary and ink.According to the Auditor General’s findings, GECOM in 2015 spent $197.9 million for office materials and supplies and included in this sum were amounts totalling $82.2 million, which represented full payment on nine contracts awarded to the same supplier for the purchase of toners and cartridges.The investigations are ongoing into the transactions.According to the Auditor General, the Procurement Act dictates that Cabinet shall have the right to review all procurements, the value of which exceeds $15 million.The Act further dictates that a procuring entity – such as GECOM – shall not split or cause to split contracts or divide or cause to divide its procurement into separate contracts where the sole purpose for doing so, is to avoid the application of any provision of the Act or any regulations made.The contracts were awarded to the same local supplier between February and May of 2015 with the highest amount being for $14.8 million and the lowest being for $1.9 million.According to the Auditor General, “the contract awards appeared to be sub-divided, which breached the Procurement Act regarding splitting of contracts and review by Cabinet.”He said “At the time of reporting in September 2016 the Audit Office was conducting further investigations into this matter.”Obsolete radiosMeanwhile, another worrying transaction undertaken by GECOM which has since generated significant media reportage after word of the audit was leaked, is that of an almost $100 million purchase of 50 High Frequency Radios.It was observed that GECOM in 2015 expended $179.8 million on chairs, desks, cabinets, tables, back-up systems, scanners and copiers, High Frequency (HF) radios, water pumps and equipment, air conditioning units and office equipment.In relation to the High Frequency radios, the Auditor General found that the contract was signed on May 4, 2015, eight days before the hosting of the May 11, 2015 General and Regional Elections – the very elections for which the radios were being purchased.According to the Audit findings, the purchase was made based on approval via a Cabinet decision dated April 28, 2015, in the sum of $99.5 million for the purchase of 50 HF radios and related accessories.GECOM, however, apart from inking the contract a week before the elections opted to utilise a restricted tendering process.The Audit Office found that GECOM selected three suppliers and made requests for quotations for 50 ‘Barrett HF radios.’The Auditor General has since discovered that only one supplier quoted the price for the 50 Barrett HF radios and the other two quotations were priced for 20 Barrett and 30 ICOM HF radios.The contract was subsequently handed to the lower of two quotations which included a different type of radio set. According to the contract, 40 per cent of the total amount was to be paid to the supplier on the signing of the contract.An amount of $39.8 million representing 40 per cent of the contract amount was paid to the contractor on May 28, 2015, via a cheque dated May 7, 2015 – five days before the May 11 General and Regional Elections.Time constraintsThe final payment of the remaining 60 per cent of the contract sum – $59.7 million was paid to the contractor on July 23, 2015, via a cheque dated July 5, 2015.According to the Audit Office, the items were verified as having been received and brought to account in the Commission’s Stores records.One Barrett HF radio was issued to the Chief Elections Officer a day before the election on May 10, 2015, and one ICOM HF radio was issued to the Commission’s sub-office in Lethem on June 16, 2016.The Auditor General found that there was no evidence to indicate that the other 48 HF radios were used.The Commission in its response to the Auditor General said its communication plan was to ensure that a communication system existed throughout Guyana and was premised on the use of different mediums and assets on the ground such as cell phones, radios, internet access and personal transmission to provide reliable, clear and accurate feedback.“However, the Commission was unable to deploy all the radios because these radios were received outside of the operational deployment time to train staff in its use in the remote areas which resulted in a change of plan with the provision of 12 satellite phones by UNDP which provided secure and reliable communication.”Guyana Times understands that the radios supplied to GECOM are in fact obsolete and will be completely useless in any future elections.Expired filmAnother worrying finding at GECOM which serves to highlight financial impropriety at the Commission related to a transaction with regard to camera film.It was uncovered by the Auditor General that in April 2007, a stock of 268 cartons of Polaroid film with an estimated market value of $30.4 million were found due to expire.This led the Commission to enter into an agreement, whereby a local firm would utilise and replace the stock at a later date.Seven months later, 94 of the cartons of film with an estimated value of $10.7 million were declared spoilt by the local firm and were returned to the Commission, while the difference of 174 cartons valued at $19.7 million were still outstanding.By March 2010, the Commission received goods to the value of $5 million leaving a balance of $14.7 million outstanding.According to the Auditor General, “this matter was referred to legal personnel who advised that “GECOM may not therefore be statute barred from pursuing any action against the supplier to recover monies owed, since the time for bringing a cause of action has lapsed, and no acknowledgement of the debt, nor was any subsequent payment made to GECOM by the supplier.”Other infractions observed by the Auditor General include the overpayment of monies to contractors for works not done in addition to substandard record keeping which has led to GECOM being unable to account for millions of dollars in supplies it would have purchased and kept in storage.last_img read more

Moose ATV Club closes Mud Creek Trail after heavy rains

first_imgTAYLOR, B.C. – Avid off-road vehicle enthusiasts in the North Peace will have to do without one of their trail networks for the foreseeable future after last week’s rains caused enough issues to warrant the trail’s closure.The Mud Creek trail network, which is located at the far end of the Big Bam Road, consists of both ATV/side-by-side designated trails, as well as dedicated single track dirtbike trails. The trails follow the bank of the Peace River before climbing to the top of the slopes via steeper trail sections.In a post on their Facebook page on Friday, the Moose ATV Club says that high waters and landslides have washed away parts of the trail. The club says that due to the danger posed, the trail will be closed until further notice. The group has posted signs and have flagged off the closed trail to let riders know about the closure.- Advertisement -Anyone looking to ride the upper sections of Mud Creek can do so via the Stewart Lake / Mud Creek trail connection. A list of the trails, as well as a description of the detour can be found on the Moose ATV Club’s website.last_img read more

Volunteers needed for Poppy Box Distribution

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Organizers for the Poppy Campaign on behalf of the Legion and fundraising efforts for the Veterans are seeking volunteers to help distribute Poppy Boxes.Friday, October 25th, 2019, at 9:00 AM, organizers and volunteers are meeting inside the Legion located at #10103 105th Avenue.The distribution should take approx 1-hour, shares Tina Tucker, an organizer of the campaign. Tucker continues to say, and it is good if there are teams of two to make the process go quicker.- Advertisement -For more information, contact Tina Tucker; (250)261-9996All funds raised by the Poppy Campaign stay in Fort St. John and help local Veterans.last_img read more

Job Vacancy: Carndonagh accountants seek Accountant and VAT Administrator (Maternity cover)

first_imgJob Vacancy: Crowe McLoughlin & Co. seek a temporary Accountant/Audit Senior and VAT administrator for maternity cover. Over the last twenty years, Crowe McLoughlin & Co. has become one of the country’s leading, quality assessed and accredited accounting firms.We have the following employment opportunities available: Accountant/Audit Senior We have a temporary contract for the above role, approximately 3 months.Candidates should have 3-5 years experience in an Accountancy Practice and be qualified or part qualified in professional exams.The ideal candidate would have experience in completing Accounts, Tax Returns and Audits.Reporting directly to the partners, candidates should be able to work on their own initiative. This is an exciting opportunity to join a professional team with the possibility of the post becoming full time in the future.VAT Administrator Maternity LeaveWe have a 6-month contract for the position of VAT Administrator to cover for maternity leave.The ideal candidate should have experience in working on VAT Returns and other office procedures.The job will involve dealing with clients VAT affairs and reporting directly to the partners.Working as part of a team in a professional office the candidate should have good numeral and computer skills. A third level or professional qualification would be an advantage.Salary commensurate with experience and qualifications. Flexible working hours possible.Reply with CV to: or Crowe McLoughlin & Co. Chartered Certified Accountants Chapel Street Carndonagh Co. Donegal Telephone 074 93 73292Job Vacancy: Carndonagh accountants seek Accountant and VAT Administrator (Maternity cover) was last modified: July 25th, 2019 by Shaun KeenanShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Liverpool stunned in Belgrade as Pavkov fires Red Star to 2-0 win

first_img Most Read In Football Green reveals how he confronted Sarri after Chelsea’s 6-0 defeat at Man City Boxing Day fixtures: All nine Premier League games live on talkSPORT gameday cracker Pavkov’s second was a stunning strike from distance 3 RANKED Red Star celebrate their remarkable defeat of Liverpool revealed A third successive Champions League away defeat, taking into account May’s semi-final reverse in Rome, equalled the run of 1979 which was ‘achieved’ over three seasons, not three successive matches.It posed plenty of questions for manager Jurgen Klopp, whose decision to leave Xherdan Shaqiri, of Kosovar-Albanian parentage, at home in order to lessen local hostilities, had no bearing on this performance.There was an ominous feeling to Liverpool’s 200th match in the Champions League/European Cup when, in the 17th minute, Daniel Sturridge missed a sitter.Sadio Mane found space down the left to drill a low cross which evaded Mohamed Salah but found his team-mate at the far post, only for the striker to lean back and balloon over. Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade The average first-team salaries at every Premier League club in 2019 tense 3 3 Every time Ally McCoist lost it on air in 2019, including funny XI reactions When Sturridge’s right-footed shot on the turn deflected for a corner, the tide turned as the hosts turned the screw.Goalkeeper Alisson was forced to save low to his left after El Fardou Ben Nabouhane’s shot from distance, but, from former Chelsea midfielder Marko Marin’s resulting corner, Pavkov headed home.center_img Liverpool had the briefest of openings, but, uncharacteristically, Adam Lallana’s first touch let him down as he tried to control Salah’s square pass inside the penalty area.The visitors were punished with exacting precision on the half-hour as James Milner gave away possession with a loose pass infield and the ball was quickly transferred to Pavkov, who smashed home his second from 25 yards.It was only the third time this season they have conceded more than one goal, but the second occasion in the Champions League and the first time since October 2014 they had conceded more than once in the first half of a Champions League game.Changes were needed and Klopp acted swiftly, bringing on Roberto Firmino and Joe Gomez at half-time for Sturridge and Trent Alexander-Arnold.Within three minutes the Brazilian substitute had made his presence felt, cutting back only for Mane to make a half-hearted stab with the outside of his right foot from six yards. Gerrard launches furious touchline outburst as horror tackle on Barisic sparks chaos Pavkov rose highest to head Red Star in front Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Ndidi bid, targets named, Ozil is ‘skiving little git’ latest A damaging 2-0 defeat to Red Star Belgrade in Serbia sealed Liverpool’s worst away run in Europe’s elite club competition in 39 years and made qualifying from Group C that bit harder.Two first-half strikes from Milan Pavkov, a 24-year-old scoring his first European goals in only his 11th appearance, were enough to beat the off-colour Reds. whoops scrap SORRY Left-back Andy Robertson, playing almost as an out-and-out winger after the break, saw a cross deflected on to the top of the crossbar, while Salah finally forced a save out of Milan Borjan, hitting a post with his next effort.The appearance off the bench from Divock Origi for his first minutes for the club since August 2017 highlighted how desperate the situation was.Salah almost sneaked a close-range shot in between goalkeeper and post and Virgil van Dijk headed on to the roof of the net, but there never appeared to be any real threat of them recovering the deficit. Sky Sports presenter apologises for remarks made during Neville’s racism discussion LATEST Did Mahrez just accidentally reveal Fernandinho is leaving Man City this summer? Liverpool news live: Klopp reveals when Minamino will play and issues injury update BEST OF last_img read more


first_imgTo celebrate the 30th anniversary of his first chart success, Nik hits the road in the Autumn for his “Me, Myself, I Tour” and will perform songs and tells tales from his impressive career and takes (potentially) awkward questions from the audience.Nik KershawNik plays An Grianan Theatre in Letterkenny this Thursday night and we have TWO PAIRS of tickets to give away for the gig.Simply send an email to and complete the song line “I Won’t Let The Sun……” Inlcude your address and phone number and we’ll contact you before the gig. This is a rare opportunity to experience an intimate evening with the man, famously described by Elton John as: “one the best song writers of a generation”.Hits include Dancing Girls, Wouldn’t It Be Good, Drum Talk, Bogart, Gone To Pieces, Shame On You, Cloak & Dagger, Faces, I Won’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me, Human Racing, The Riddle.He has written a number of hits for other artists, including The One And Only for Chesney Hawkes, The Woman I Love by The Hollies, and Seventeen & Everybody Say Everybody Do by boy bad Let Loose.Over the years, Nik Kershaw has collaborated on albums with artists including Elton John, Bonnie Tyler and Gary Barlow.  WIN FREE TICKETS TO SEES 80s POP STAR NIK KERSHAW was last modified: September 2nd, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:An Grianan TheatredonegalNik Kershawlast_img read more


first_imgFormer Republic of Ireland manager Jack Charlton was delighted when he bumped into Letterkenny Rovers clubman and BBC Radio Foyle Sports broadcaster Eric White.Charlton received a standing ovation from the Irish fans at today’s friendly at the Aviva Stadium between Ireland and England Irish fans still hold Charlton dearly in their hearts after he took Ireland to Euro 88, Italia 90 and USA 94.Charlton remains Ireland’s most successful ever international manager and will always be loved by the soccer fraternity here in Ireland.However, Charlton was delighted to meet the affable Letterkenny Rovers stalwart Eric White on his way back to his hotel.Charlton said, “I love Eric’s work with BBC Radio Foyle, and although he does change his Donegal accent slightly when he’s working, he’s still great at what he does and it was great to finally meet him. Eric who has followed Ireland for years through good times and bad was delighted to meet the great man himself and posted the picture above of himself with Jack on his Facebook timeline.Who knows you may yet see Charlton in the dug-out at Leckview for the new USL season in August.Charlton was never a fan of summer football so he may now opt for Rovers after the league’s decision to revert back to its winter format.FORMER REPUBLIC OF IRELAND MANAGER DELIGHTED TO MEET LETTERKENNY ROVERS STALWART was last modified: June 7th, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:newsSportlast_img read more

Paedo pair spotted in different towns trying to buy new car

first_imgTwo paedophiles who have settled in Donegal have been sighted in a number of different towns around the county since yesterday. Donegal Daily revealed how local Gardai confirmed that the child rapist and his associate have registered as staying in the area.Child rapist James White, 48, and his sicko pal Jason Lydiard, 26, are now two of the most wanted men in Ireland after they were accused of targeting kids in Newcastle West, Co Limerick, and Bandon in Co Cork. Gardai issued a nationwide warning about the pair in recent days.Now sightings of the pair have been made in Letterkenny, Ballybofey, Ramelton and Lifford.It is understood the pair are driving a blue-coloured Cork-registered Peugeot car which they are trying to sell.We have learned that they tried to buy another car in Ballybofey yesterday and put on foreign accents to disguise their identity. An eagle-eyed reader also spotted them this morning in a supermarket car park in Strabane but they jumped in their car and fled back towards Lifford.Gardai have intelligence that the duo — both originally from the North and considered “high-risk sex offenders” — have been approaching children as part of a depraved double act.Although the pair served time in the North, they are still required to inform gardai of their whereabouts here.A Garda bulletin was sent to every station in the country to warn officers to be on the lookout for the pair.And Lydiard — who also uses the name Alexis Guesto and considers himself a Born-Again Christian — is also suspected of using a fake social media profile as part of his plans to identify potential victims. Investigators believe the pair became friends after Lydiard, originally from Co Down, was freed from custody in the North earlier this year.He had finished a seven-month sentence for ignoring a court order banning him from online dating sites.Although he has nine previous convictions for sexual assault, assaults causing harm and threats to kill, White is considered to be the more dangerous.Smith, who is originally from south Armagh, he was jailed here in 1998 for horrific attacks — two counts of buggery and five charges of sexual assault — on a teenage boy in Co Meath. He was freed in 2003. He once threatened to kill a social worker with a hammer, has 62 previous convictions in all, including sexual assault, assault causing bodily harm and threats to kill.After completing his sentence here, he returned to the North in 2006 and was living in different areas across the border.Although the PSNI had been aware of his whereabouts, he disappeared for a year in 2015 despite being on a Sexual Offences Prevention Order — which demands he maintain ­contact with the police.* If you have spotted these men or have pictures of them, please contact and we will keep the public alerted to their movements.Paedo pair spotted in different towns trying to buy new car was last modified: April 25th, 2018 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:donegalGardaiJames WhiteJason Lydiardpaedophileslast_img read more

49ers mailbag: From Alfred Morris to breakfast tacos

first_img(CLICK HERE, if you are unable to view his photo gallery on your mobile device.)SAN JOSE — The 49ers are on their first road trip, a Texas-sized journey spanning six days in Houston so they can answer more questions about their depth chart and moxie.Not all of us had Tuesday off like the players did, so we fielded fans’ greatest concerns and tried to alleviate them here:Is it me, or does the Alfred Morris signing shine a light on what the coaching staff feels about the entire RB depth …last_img read more

Funding available to local Young Ag Professionals

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Ohio Farm Bureau Young Ag Professionals groups and Collegiate Farm Bureau groups can obtain funding for local projects thanks to the generous support of Farm Credit Mid-America.Eight local YAP groups and two Collegiate Farm Bureau groups will be awarded $500 grants for educational programming or events. Applications for the grants can be submitted at and are due March 31, 2017.“Participation in our YAP and Collegiate programs is growing, and this support from Farm Credit will help our members accomplish some great things in their local communities,” said Melinda Witten, leadership programming director for Ohio Farm Bureau.The local grants are a part of Farm Credit Mid-America’s $100,000 donation to Farm Bureau young leader programs in their four-state region of Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.  A portion of the funds donated to Ohio is being used for the local grants program.“Our purpose is to secure the future of rural communities and agriculture,” said Jonathan Carter, assistant vice president of Farm Credit’s young and beginning farmer program. “Since Farm Bureau’s YAP and Collegiate programs are similar in mission and values to ours, we felt we could really support their efforts and work together in helping develop leadership skills with those who desire a future in agriculture.”“We want to thank Farm Credit Mid-America for their great support of our programs for young adults and college students. Their involvement helps ensure we’ll be able to grow our next generation of farm and food leaders,” Witten said.The local grants program is a new opportunity for YAP and Collegiate groups and was announced during the 2017 YAP Winter Conference Feb. 3 and 4 in Columbus.last_img read more