Track record of indecency, dishonesty and flagrant disregard for the rule of law

first_imgDear Editor,Even as the APNU-AFC heads to elections in March 2020, it appears as though it will continue to trample upon our laws without any remorse until their last day in office, instead of seeking forgiveness from the electorate for disregarding our laws over the four-plus year.Since assuming office, the APNU-AFC has consistently demonstrated its proclivity for disregarding the laws of Guyana, including the Constitution. Two Constitutional breaches that will remain forever in our memories are the unilateral appointment of the Chairman of GECOM by the President and failure of his Cabinet to resign and call elections per the Constitution. Unfortunately, these were not the only legal transgressions by the APNU-AFC coalition. They are countless other breaches that rarely attract the same attention as these constitutional breaches. The reports of the Auditor General that covers the period 2015-2018 provides numerous instances of violations to the Fiscal Management and Accountability Act, Stores Regulations, Procurement Act 2003, and Circularized instructions. A summary of these breaches is provided in the table below.Source: Report of Auditor General (various years)While it is human to err, another truism is that responsible ‘god-fearing’ people usually express remorse and make the necessary adjustments to avoid repeating their mistakes. I am not aware of any public apology from members of the APNU-AFC for these breaches. However, based on available information, it is clear the APNU-AFC government does not have any intention of correcting these mistakes. The Report of the Auditor General for 2018 revealed that the recommendations from the Auditor General to remedy breaches to circularized instructions and the Procurement Act in 2017 were never implemented. The advice from the Audit Office regarding overpayment for construction works in 2017, was also never implemented in 2018.As we speak, the APNU-AFC continues to breach the Procurement Act with the apparent complicity of the Procurement Commission that is supposed to ensure compliance with the Procurement Act 2003. We saw the notification of 54 contract awards by Cabinet that was terminated by the passage of time and our Constitution that required the resignation of the Cabinet upon the passage of a No Confidence Vote (Citizens Report, January 10, 2020). A contract valued at $826 million was also signed between BK International and the Ministry 2019 by a caretaker government that is only empowered to incur recurring expenses to the tune of 1/12 of the previous budget (Guyana Standard, January 7, 2020). These breaches confirm that the APNU-AFC government has no intention of respecting our laws.The many violations of our laws are testimony of the decency, honesty, and real intention of the APNU-AFC to respect our laws. The hoisting of flags with words such as ‘decency and honesty’ as well as sloganizing these catchwords during the election season cannot erase the fact that the APNU-AFC government is hardly decent, honest, and law-abiding. Guyanese are smart enough to know that ‘actions speak louder than words.’ They will pay attention and vote based on the track record of the APNU-AFC on March 2, 2020.Sincerely,Name withheldBreaches                2015 2016 2017 2018Stores Regulations   53     60     34       57Fiscal Management and Accountability Act 21 82 40 71Procurement Act 2003 18 71 27 28Circularized instructions … … 29 41last_img read more