Attorney General Reginald Armour says work continues to be done on the Public Procurement and Disposal Of Public Property Act 2022 with the aim of implementing and operationalising the piece of legislation. He said a draft proclamation schedule had been prepared to be taken to Cabinet.
The AG was responding to a question by Opposition Senator Wade Mark on Wednesday as he moved a matter on the adjournment of the Senate. Mark asked whether government intended to implement and operationalise the bill or it had been stalled following the submission of 29 pages of comments from the judiciary.
“The UNC does not support the submissions made by the Judiciary. The procurement regulator has adequately responded to many of the concerns laid and made by the Judiciary and the procurement regulator has asked that the act in its current form be implemented and operationalised. There would be chinks in the armour, we can adjust, amend, and bring changes, but let us proceed to implement and operationalise the act.”
Armour said he felt it appropriate that the concerns of the Judiciary be addressed as they had substance. He said 19 concerns had been set forth.
“As part of this update, I am able to state that since my statement in Parliament on June 22, 2022, along with legal officers of my ministry, I have met and engaged with the procurement regulator and his team. This was followed up by the OPR (Office of the Procurement Regulator) writing to me on August 25, 2022, enclosing a package of documents. This package has been and continues to be under review by legal officers of my ministry.
“These legal officers have been corresponding with other entities to ensure that there is robust engagement and cooperation among all stakeholders who play a key role in the implementation of the act. In that process we have examined and continue to examine the concerns raised by the Judiciary, the OPR, and others so as to ensure that all issues are addressed for the full, responsible operationalisation of the act.”
Armour said government remains committed to the implementation and operationalisation of the act.
Finance Minister Colm Imbert said government has no plans at this point in time for further increases in the price of fuel.
He was responding to a question from Mark, who asked whether government would consider placing a cap on further increases at the pump so as not to further burden the population after six consecutive increases.
Mark said since the prices of oil and natural gas were fluctuating, government could consider decreasing prices when prices were good.
Imbert said the prices currently being received for oil exported from TT were good and almost the same as those being received for Brent crude oil. He said there is extreme volatility in the oil pricing market, caused by multiple factors and the government has to take a measured view for the future.
“There is no plan at this point in time for further increases in the price of fuel.”