National security purchases to be exempt from legal regulations Stabroek News
June 11, 2002

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The Procurement Bill passed in the National Assembly recently exempts procurement involving national defence and national security, but attorney-at-law Khemraj Ramjattan says this does not give carte blanche cover for all procurement by the security forces.

In his view, it covers procurement for only hardcore artillery and other items for the security of the country both from internal and external threats.

Ramjattan says that 90% of the procurement by the security forces which are not of a security nature would have to fall under the National Procurement and Tender Administration which replaces the Central Tender Board with the new law.

The Guyana Defence Force (GDF) has continuously breached tender procedures in Guyana and Auditor General Anand Goolsarran had indicated that he was told the force was going to be exempt from the new procurement regulations, a turn of events most undesirable.

Up to Thursday, Goolsarran had not seen a copy of the new law and as such could not readily say how he interpreted the section relevant to the exemptions from the procurement guidelines.

Chief Parliamentary Counsel, Cecil Dhurjon, said that national defence and national security are intended to take on the interpretation which the Constitution gives.