Chaguanas West MP Dinesh Rambally said on Sunday the Government’s announcement of the full proclamation of the 2015 procurement legislation was “nothing short of a con job.”
The full proclamation of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Property Act, 2015, takes effect from Wednesday.
Rambally spoke on this and other issues such as crime at the UNC's weekly Sunday press briefing. He said the Government introduced a suite of amendments which “watered down” the Procurement Act and which removed “critical areas and services out of the remit of the legislation.”
He said there was removal of the procurement of legal-debt financing, accounting, auditing and medical services.
“After watering down the legislation, it delayed in enacting same,” he said.
He added even with full proclamation there was a delay in the appointment of a new regulator or the reappointment of the former regulator.
The Office of Procurement Regulation’s (OPR) website lists the procurement board deputy chairman as Robby Bhola and lists eight members. The website also says a chairman/procurement regulator is yet to be appointed.
“This position has been vacant since the beginning of the year,” he added.
Former procurement regulator Moonilal Lalchan said the proclamation would give the OPR full operationalisation to do proper investigations and hearings.
Rambally said corruption was identified as a key facilitator of crime at the recently concluded crime symposim held in TT.
Speaking to the crime symposium, crime and home invasions, Rambally asked if the Government did not pay heed to the fact that TT dropped in the World Rule of Law Index ranking in 2022.
He said TT ranking sixth on the list of the World’s Most Criminal Countries was also no coincidence.
Reminding National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds of a promise to bring legislation to deal with home invasions in 2018, Rambally said it was six years later and no such legislation was brought before the Parliament.
“As we all know, TT has been plagued by an alarming surge in crime in recent years. The rate of crime has been steadily increasing, with a particular focus on home invasions. This is a concerning issue that requires immediate attention from us all.”
Rambally said one of the ways to combat home invasions is through a stronger police presence in communities. He added that the police should consider increasing patrols on a consistent basis and implementing community policing initiatives to build better relationships with citizens.
He also suggested investing in better technology and equipment for law enforcement.
“This could include improved surveillance systems and better firearms training. The police should also prioritize the hiring and training of additional officers to ensure adequate coverage throughout the country,” he added.