THE TT Transparency Institute (TTTI) is concerned that public procurement legislation is not fully operationalised and campaign finance legislation is yet to be dealt with by the Parliament.
In a statement, TTTI said these concerns were raised at its 20th annual general meeting on December 19.
TTTI said the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Property Act was not fully operational and the year is almost over.
The Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Property (Amendment) Bill 2016 was passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives on February 7 and March 3, 2017 respectively. The President assented to the bill on March 13, 2017.
This legislation amended the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Property Act, 2015 to reduce the term of office for the regulator and other members of the board appointed to govern the Office of Procurement Regulation.
In a statement in the House on February 1, Finance Minister Colm Imbert dismissed allegations that Government was trying to avoid implementing the act. Imbert said at a meeting with the regulator on January 15, the regulator said his office has already engaged 75 per cent of the staff required to properly implement the act. He also said the regulator was reasonably confident that by the end of March, he would have up to 90 per cent of the required staff.
Imbert also said the draft regulations for the act are being reviewed by external senior counsel to ensure “the regulations are intra vires the act.” He explained the only thing that could possibly affect the timeline and schedule for implementation of the act was if the advice from senior counsel, “indicates that some aspect of the draft regulations requires amendment or clarification.”
TTTI also raised concern about the urgent need for campaign finance legislation to facilitate disclosure to the voting public and ensure elections on an informed and regulated basis. Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi last month said Parliament will deal with campaign finance legislation next year.
At the TTTI AGM, Auditor General Lorelly Pujadas said while her office does not have investigative powers, it can assess whether adequate measures are in place to protect state resources from misuse. Pujadas also said her office can assess whether actions of the ministries are in compliance with relevant Treasury directives.
The meeting also saw the re-election of Dion Abdool and Martin Farrell as chairman and vice-chairman respectively. Susan Gordon, Ariane Moonsie, Dr Kamla Mungal, Fern Narcis-Scope and Jason Stedman were also re-elected board members. Former heads of the Public Service Reynold Cooper and Donna Jack-Hill were also elected to the board.