Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi
By Sue-An Wayow
ATTORNEY General Faris Al-Rawi needs to explain what exactly is missing from the draft regulations of the Procurement Bill as his statements on Monday were not clear enough.
This is according to President of the Joint Consultative Council (JCC) for the Construction Industry Fazir Khan.
In a media release, Khan said, “The JCC would therefore greatly appreciate it if the learned AG can utilise his team of lawyers to advise the public on specifically what is missing from the draft regulations so that the public can get a sense that the government is actually aggressively pursuing operationalisation of the OPR (Office of Public Procurement).”
While he agreed that with Al-Rawi that Clause 5 alone of the amended bill would make a tangible difference to the act and that the OPR still had oversight on the disposal of public property, the problem was that Al-Rawi repeatedly stated that Government was aggressively pursuing its implementation.
Al-Rawi said one of the keep backs was that former President Anthony Carmona did not appoint the Regulator until 2018.
Khan said, “We need to inform the public that the fact is that it was the civil society groups, including the JCC that pursued the former President on this matter. If this government was so eager, why was there no Government liaison with President Carmona as early as 2016 to get the OPR appointed by the President?
Addressing the issue of challenge proceedings spoken about by the attorney general, Khan said that Al-Rawi was well aware of the draft regulations section that dealt with that issue and that “the standard of proof to be applied in challenge proceedings shall be required in a Court in civil cases.”
He said the public was being misled into thinking that government was heavily pursuing the matter when the Public Procurement Review Board (PPRB) did not yet have an office.
And he also said the Al-Rawi should say to the public why Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley would have stated shortly after the budget debate that procurement legislation will be implemented and three months later, Al-Rawi was painting a different picture that it was not as simple to have passage of the law.