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HomeREGIONALGUYANA | Woman who filed recount challenge given $7.5M contract in June...

GUYANA | Woman who filed recount challenge given $7.5M contract in June by APNU+AFC

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By Mikaila Prince | Kaieteur News

Within the two weeks that the People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) has assumed office, the new administration had unearthed a number of concerning issues. One in particular regards Ulita Grace Moore, the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) Coalition candidate who had brought the very first post-election case for the Coalition, seeking to block the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) scrutinized recount.

According to documents seen by Kaieteur News, the Ministry of Public Infrastructure (MoPI) had awarded a contract to UPS Contracting Services on June 19 for the “weeding, cleaning and maintenance of East Coast Demerara (ECD) Road Shoulders and Railway Embankment” between the villages of Mon Repos and Enmore. These works carried a price tag of GYD $7,516,000.

It was Moore through her Attorneys-at-Law, Mayo Robertson and Roysdale Forde, who had challenged the constitutionality of the agreement made between then President David Granger and then Leader of the Opposition, Bharrat Jagdeo to have a CARICOM team supervise the recount of the March 2 General and Regional Elections. The High Court had ruled on the case in favour of Moore. That ruling, however, was overturned by the Full Court. While Granger had originally referred to Moore as a private citizen, he and other members of the Coalition have said that Moore and other litigants were acting on the Coalition’s behalf. The award of the contract would have come after the court cases, and while the Granger administration was still in caretaker mode.

Other documents seen by this publication show that the company, in which Moore holds the position of Managing Director, had become a registered business on October 23, 2019, and was addressed at Lot 187, South Better Hope, ECD.

Later, on November 7, 2019, Moore’s business had received her Certificate of Compliance from the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), which noted that it had been issued for the purpose of tender for a government contract. This certificate said that Moore had, “complied with the provision of, and fulfilled his/her obligations under the Income Tax Act, Chapter 81:01 as amended, to the satisfaction of the Commissioner-General, for the years 2016, 2017, 2018, that is to say, for the three years immediately preceding the year in which a tender is being made by him/ her/ them.”

On May 4 of 2020, a month after her elections case was concluded, Moore received her National Insurance Scheme compliance, which stated that, “Ms. Moore’s obligations to the Scheme have been met by her employer at the Ministry of Health…”

On June 19, when the MoPI dispatched a letter of acceptance to Moore: “This serves to notify you that your Bid for the execution of the weeding, cleaning and maintenance of East Coast Demerara public road shoulders and railway embankment- Lot 15: Mon Repos to Enmore for the corrected contract price of GY$7,516,000 is hereby accepted by our agency.”

The letter of acceptance was signed by Permanent Secretary of the MoPI, Kenneth Jordan, and had also required that Moore sign and return enclosed contract documents, along with the relevant insurances.

A source close to the new Ministry of Public Works, which is headed by Minister Juan Edghill, related to Kaieteur News yesterday afternoon that an evaluation will be conducted soon to assess whether Moore had begun any mobilization of her contractual duties. In addition, the source was noted that the Ministry will be engaging the authorities at the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB), with the aim of determining what procurement methods were utilized for the awarding of the contract. This means that the Ministry will be ascertaining whether the project was sole sourced, or whether there was a competitive bidding structure.

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