Category: epswjtic

Independent public procurement CoI needed

first_imgOver the past 48 months, Guyana’s national system for procuring goods and services to meet public demands and complete a slew of projects has been in a state of crisis, chaos, and confusion under the governance of the new A Partnership for National Unity and Alliance for Change coalition Government.The APNU/AFC Administration appears either incompetent or incapable of managing the system in a transparent manner. It does not seem to understand that there will be a black-lash whenever there is deliberate political interference in the process.As a result of its direct actions since assuming Executive responsibility for several national agencies and companies, including the ministries of Public Health, Communities, Public Infrastructure and Education, there has been scandal after scandal.These scandals have no doubt exposed the unprecedented levels of interference that is taking place in the procurement, tendering process, and award of contracts. This interference, according to sources close to the APNU/AFC political directorate, is being sanctioned by high ranking ministerial officials in President David Granger’s Government, and they are ensuring that those who played an integral role in financing the coalition’s 2011 and 2015 elections’ campaigns are rewarded with concessions from the public purse.It is therefore not strange that the Government has avoided every opportunity to commission an independent commission of inquiry into any of these recent scandals involving the procurement, tendering and awarding of some of the most controversial contracts; especially those concerning the Ministry of Public Health.If what sources say is accurate — and any decision made to have an independent CoI into the procurement of pharmaceuticals, drugs and medical supplies would reveal — there have been strange and sinister relations between officials at the Public Health Ministry, suppliers of services and goods, and personnel planted with the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board. This would explain why companies that have absolutely no experience and business in the supply of these goods and services have managed to secure multi-million-dollar contracts after springing up overnight. They have also been given a clear advantage, even when the process is followed and another company is capable of providing the Government with the lowest and best rates, so that they can achieve value for company. The Sussex Street Bond fiasco is just one example, and the sole sourcing of emergency medical supplies from ANSA McAL is just another.Changing the subject minister is just another attempt to quell public concern and create a diversion from the real issue at hand. The current minister is doing just as badly as her predecessor.Both ministers are aware of the Government’s policy on who should get the largest pie of the contracts to supply pharmaceuticals in Guyana. And any high school student could tell you that the APNU/AFC made a campaign promise to ensure that the New Guyana Pharmaceutical Corporation Inc remains under scrutiny because of its perceived and alleged link to a mainstream opposition politician.Additionally, since assuming office, there has been a rush to rewrite the Government’s procurement policy, and ramrod legislative changes to effect system changes with the hope that the company is left isolated and incapable of competing. But this has been far from the case, because of the legitimacy of its operations and the professionalism as well as expertise of its staff.There is no doubt that if there is a level playing field, internationally acclaimed local and regional companies could continue to supply services to the country’s health sector, which in turn would reduce shortages, the wastage of billions of taxpayers’ dollars, and ensure the delivery of better health care to the populace. This principle also applies to every other area in which the Government does business.Local companies must not be afraid to challenge the public procurement system if there is any doubt about the outcome of various tendering processes, be it at a regional or national level. They do not need to pledge alliance to the Government or display indifference to avoid victimization. The checks and balances which are given life by the Constitution must work to protect the citizenry and local businesses from Government victimization.The Public Procurement Commission must work and publish its investigative reports. Those reports which the Government received after internal probes into various complaints and scandals must also be released for scrutiny. The official Private Sector Commission and the so-called transparency agencies must speak out against the misuse and abuse of the public tendering system by the Government and its agents to reward its financiers and supporters.The public must sound the alarm for an independent CoI to investigate these flagrant breaches and the award of politically inspired contracts under the new, bold, semi-autocratic regime of President David Granger. It must not be headed by a former GDF officer, but by a highly qualified civilian.last_img read more

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Giftland Mall and GPL

first_imgDear Editor,I have been following this ongoing saga with the Giftland Mall and GPL power supply, and it appears that Minister Patterson and GPL Chairman Lucas do not want to purchase power from the Giftland Mall.Mr. Beepat (Chairman of the Giftland Group) has stated that his supply cost is cheaper than what is being produced by GPL’s diesel engines, and had offered power at a competitive price to GPL; in other articles, the CEO of GPL has stated that lines have already been installed, and GPL is awaiting connection. Therefore, I can presume that the interconnection is not an issue.I actually met an engineer from Manitoba Power Company last year, who informed me that this was a viable option and it was being implemented, and that many man hours have been spent on ironing out the details. This leads me to conclude that there is no political will by this Government to purchase power, and the residents of the East Coast of Demerara be damned and must continue to suffer with the constant blackouts.Further, I was at Giftland Mall last night, and was thinking that this was the largest and most significant social and commercial development project in our history. It has brought joy and convenience to all Guyanese and visitors. Has our President ever visited the Giftland Mall in the four years that it has been opened?Regards,Kumar DiodatIndustry,East Coast Demeraralast_img read more

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Shane Quiding

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From riches to rags – football’s widening wealth gap

first_img“I do get Sh2, 500 ($25) for each match we win,” the 26-year-old told AFP.“But if there is a draw or loss, I get nothing.”Mbidi goes training twice a day for the African side and gets about 79 US cents travelling costs for each session.“In 2008 and 2009 we were the champions, but still only got the $25, not a penny more,” he said.FIFPro, the international players union, said that Mbidi’s case is the rule more than the exception.According to a study of 14,000 players in 54 countries it released in November, about 41 percent of football professionals do not get a salary and 45 percent earn less than $1,000 a month.“The enormous salaries are a tiny minority,” said FIFPro spokesman Alex Duff.“Believing that most footballers live a life of luxury is like saying that most actors are Hollywood stars.”– Dying in silence –Portuguese club Boavista made headlines in November after Nigerian international Michael Uchebo said he had not been paid for eight months because of a dispute with the management.“I have been dying in silence with no one to help me,” he declared at the time.The 26-year-old striker made films of his attempts to get past club security guards to get into the Boavista gym.Boavista did not comment on the case to AFP, but its president Alvaro Braga accused Uchebo of not telling the truth and having refused a proposed transfer.The Nigerian finally agreed to end his contract with the Portuguese club in January. It was not revealed whether he had won any compensation.In Venezuela an economic crisis has devastated the football league, like other industries. Players told FIFPro that they had a salary of about $200 a month but prefer short-term contracts because of the hyper-inflation that undermines any money they receive.“After six months your salary is worth nothing. It is difficult to make ends meet,” said one player, named as Jose.In Argentina football legend Diego Maradona slammed the country’s football authorities for a crisis in which players were not paid for months, several corruption scandals were uncovered and players went on strike for several days in protest.In Africa former Ivory Coast star Didier Drogba sounded the alarm in defence of players “who have no status”.Among countries regularly singled out by FIFPro is Gabon, which the international union said is one of the most dangerous places to be a professional footballer.Almost one player in four has suffered physical violence and a third have been threatened by supporters, according to FIFPro.The union is also worried about countries in central and eastern Europe. Earlier this year FIFPro warned players against signing for Serbian clubs.The spokesman Duff said that players only get safe and guaranteed conditions in a few countries in Europe and North America.But even in these countries the players at risk struggle to pay the mortgage each month and feed their children.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Real Madrid and Portugal’s forward Cristiano Ronaldo kisses his trophy after winning the Best FIFA Men’s Player of 2016 Award on January 9, 2017KINSHASA, DR Congo, Apr 5 – There is Cristiano Ronaldo and his millions and Gloire Mbidi and his handful of dollars — and the gap between football’s have and have-nots is widening.Ronaldo reportedly earns about Sh4, 600 ($45) a minute every day just from his Real Madrid deal. Fellow striker Mbidi has no contract or salary from his Democratic Republic of Congo team AC Real de Kinshasa.last_img read more

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Aspiring actor’s killer remains at large

first_imgAfter the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York, Orlando Ortega decided to pursue his dream of becoming an actor. With little money and no place to stay, he left the Bronx and drove to Los Angeles in his 1988 Toyota Camry. Four years later, the 31-year-old had an apartment in West Hollywood, drove a Nissan Altima, worked as a manager at a restaurant/bar and even appeared in a handful of independent films and some television shows like “CSI.” But a man with a gun ended the aspiring actor’s dreams. Ortega was shot and killed May 29 in a botched robbery in West Hollywood by a man detectives believe lives in or frequents Whittier. Now they are asking for the public’s help in identifying the killer. A memorial service was held Friday for Ortega at Our Lady of the Assumption in the Bronx. His sister, Karla Sanchez, said a service was held June 7 at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Sanchez said her brother was an adventurer who wanted to live life to the fullest. She is angry and frustrated about the slaying but is hopeful it will be solved. “I do believe in my heart they will find who did it. We want to see justice be served. It may not happen as soon as we want,” Sanchez said. On May 29, Ortega had lunch with a friend and later saw the movie, “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End.” He then headed home. At 11:21 p.m., one or two suspects confronted Ortega as he got out of his silver Nissan Altima near Sweetzer and Willoughby avenues, according to Detective Jeffrey Leslie of the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau. “Witnesses hear the gunshot and a commotion. They go outside and see him,” Leslie said. Ortega, who was shot in the upper torso, died later at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Leslie said there is a good possibility Ortega’s killer could be the same man who committed an armed robbery on Laurel Avenue minutes before. The robber took a wallet and a jacket, then fled in a dark-color or black newer-model sedan. A second suspect drove the getaway car. The robbery victim’s credit card was later used at a gas station in Pico Rivera and at a gas station in Whittier. That led detectives to suspect the culprit could be from the Whittier area. The suspect was described as a Latino, 20 to 25 years old and 5 feet 9 inches tall. Leslie said West Hollywood also had a couple of earlier robberies in which the description of the suspect and the method used were similar. Troy Eisenkirck of West Hollywood considered Ortega his best friend and the closest thing he had to a brother. “He had a loving heart. He would go out of his way to help someone in need,” Eisenkirck said. “He was one of a kind. He was a good person.” He called the killing a travesty and said he still can’t believe it happened. When Ortega lived in the Bronx, he worked as a Web programmer on Wall Street, according to his sister. He dabbled in the entertainment business, appearing in shows and in several music videos. But 9/11 changed that. That day, he visited Sanchez and she told him not to go to work. She said something was happening and he would have problems with the train. They soon found out about the attack. One of his friends died. Sanchez said that prompted Ortega to pursue acting. “He said, `I want to do this before I regret it,”‘ she said. “He loved to live. Every day was an adventure,” she said. Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Detective Jeffrey Leslie at (323) 890-5586 or Detective Eddie Brown at (323) 890-5636. ruby.gonzales@sgvn.com (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3026160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img
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Hackers expose weaknesses of social networking sites

first_imgOne hacker, Rick Deacon, a 21-year-old network administrator from Beachwood, Ohio, says he’s discovered a so-called “zero-day” flaw – or a problem that hasn’t been patched yet – in MySpace that allows intruders to commandeer personal Web pages and possibly inject malicious code. Deacon is scheduled to present his findings Sunday. So far, it only affects older versions of the Firefox Web browser and does not affect Internet Explorer, he said. The attack uses a so-called “cross-site scripting” vulnerability, a common type of flaw found in Web applications that involves injecting code onto someone else’s Web page. The vulnerability could not be independently verified, but experts said these types of attacks are a particular problem for social networking sites, where it’s difficult to police the content of the millions of posts each day. Deacon said the flaw he discovered requires that a user click on a link that leads to a Web page where the computer’s “cookie” information is stolen. Deacon said he discovered the problem several months ago along with several other researchers and alerted MySpace, but the company didn’t fix the problem. LAS VEGAS – Social networking Web sites like MySpace.com are increasingly juicy targets for computer hackers, who are demonstrating a pair of vulnerabilities they claim expose sensitive personal information and could be exploited by online criminals. The flaws were being demonstrated this week at the Black Hat and Defcon hacker conferences, which draw thousands of people to Las Vegas each year for five days of training and demonstrations of the latest exploits. Black Hat, the more genteel of the two events with heavy industry sponsorship and big admission fees, ended Thursday with some 4,000 attendees. Defcon, larger and more roguish, started smoothly Friday, without any of the registration problems that irked fire officials last year and caused lengthy delays. Organizers expect the crowd to exceed last year’s attendance of roughly 5,000 people. Infiltrating password-protected social networking sites has been an increasingly fruitful area of study for hobbyists and professional computer security researchers. “Facebook and MySpace both patch things that they find, but it’s like a sandbox,” Deacon said. “There’s so much. And there are probably hundreds more cross-site scripting vulnerabilities there. There’s no way they can find them all.” A MySpace spokeswoman declined to comment specifically about Deacon’s presentation. The company said in a statement that “it’s our responsibility to have the most responsive, solely dedicated 24-7 safety and security team, and we do.” In a separate demonstration, Robert Graham, chief executive of Atlanta-based Errata Security, showed a program for snooping on the computers on public wireless networks to steal the “cookie” information and hijack e-mail accounts and personal Web pages on social networks. In his Black Hat presentation, he took over the e-mail account of an audience member using Google Inc.’s Gmail service. Graham said his program demonstrates the vulnerability of public wireless connections. “Everyone has gotten into their minds that passwords over Wi-Fi are toxic, so let’s fix that, and they have,” Graham said. “What I’m saying is that everything else is just as toxic.” Graham’s demonstration would not have worked if the audience member had been using the encrypted version of Gmail. Google declined to comment specifically on the presentation but said the company is expanding its capacity to enable automatic encryption for all Gmail users.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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Temperatures hit 100 in some areas

first_imgSummer doesn’t officially start until Wednesday, but that didn’t stop scorching temperatures from rolling in Friday. In some parts of Los Angeles County, temperatures hit triple digits – up to 105 degrees. Altadena hit 102 degrees in the afternoon, while West Covina and Rowland Heights saw a high of 97 degrees. The weather is expected to cool slightly this weekend, with highs in the 90s. Temperatures will continue to fall early next week, with highs in the upper 80s. The hot, dry weather is consistent with the normal summer pattern of upper level high pressure, which keeps the marine layer at bay, according to Meier. The dry weather also drives up the potential for brush fires. But the good news is that there’s not a lot of wind, Wimer said. Besides the heat, people should be wary of UV (ultra-violet) ratings, which were 10 on Friday. “Anything 8 or above is considered quite high,” Meier said. “The UV rays are more intense so the chance of sunburn and heatstroke, that kind of potential, is a little higher.” esther.chou@sgvn.com (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2513160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2Father’s Day will start off cloudy Sunday morning, but the sun should appear by the afternoon. Temperatures are expected to be in the high 80s. “Usually when it does get very hot this time of year, it doesn’t last very long,” said Brian Wimer, senior meteorologist at AccuWeather.com. The average temperature for this time of year is in the 80s, but the record is above 100, according to Wimer. Evenings and nights are still expected to provide some relief from the heat. Lows will be in the mid-60s for the next couple of nights, according to Jamie Meier, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard. “Not as much relief as we would like but still a decent cooldown,” Meier said. last_img read more

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Man United in danger of losing star trio if they miss out on Champions League

first_img Where every Premier League club needs to strengthen in January targets LATEST getty Manchester United face losing three key members of their first team if they fail to qualify for the Champions League.A 4-0 drubbing away to Everton on Sunday means the Red Devils face an uphill battle to qualify for Europe’s elite competition. 2 De Gea’s contract expires next summer Kevin De Bruyne ‘loves Man City and wants to keep winning’, reveals father LIVING THE DREAM moving on Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Ndidi bid, targets named, Ozil is ‘skiving little git’ IN DEMAND The biggest market value losers in 2019, including Bale and ex-Liverpool star center_img 2 Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku could be out of Old Trafford this summer Cavani ‘agrees’ to join new club and will complete free transfer next summer LATEST TRANSFER NEWS Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has promised the squad will undergo an overhaul after his attack on the players, but he may not be able to stop some of his best players leaving Old Trafford.According to The Guardian, David De Gea, Romelu Lukaku and Paul Pogba will ‘consider their futures’ if Champions League football is not secured.Spain No.1 De Gea has been involved in contract talks for some time now, with no breakthrough in negotiations. The 28-year-old will be out of contract in the summer, although the Red Devils have the option to exercise a one-year extension.Pogba has openly admitted it would be a ‘dream’ to play for Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid and United have reportedly told Los Blancos how they much they will have to stump up if they want to prise the midfielder away. Tony Cascarino backs Everton to sign two strikers for Carlo Ancelotti REVEALED Man United joined by three other clubs in race for Erling Haaland targets Lukaku meanwhile has fallen massively out of favour following a fantastic first season at Old Trafford.Solskjaer has preferred to play on the break, with Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial utilising their mobility and subtlety in behind.Following the humiliation on Sunday at Goodison Park, the Red Devils are now three points off Chelsea in fourth, but with a game in hand against Manchester City to follow.And the Norwegian boss has warned his players they must step up before the end of the season, or face being jettisoned. “I’m going to be successful here and there are players there who will not be part of that successful team,’ said Solskjaer.“Many of them do have it. We have to stick together as a team. We can’t change the whole squad – it’s got to be one step at a time.”last_img read more

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‘Full-on melee’ results in abandonment GAA League game

first_imgThe Donegal Competitions Controls Committee (CCC) will await the referee’s report before deciding what action to take after the abandonment of an All-County League game this afternoon.The Glenfin v Cloughaneely game in Division 2 was abandoned with just three minutes of the game remaining after a mass brawl broke out.Cloughaneely were leading the game, at Pairc Tabhoige in Glenfin, 3-7 to 0-9 when it was abandoned by match referee Mark Dorrian. There were only three minutes of injury time left to be played.What has been described as ‘a full-on melee’ broke out on the opposite end of the pitch to where the ball was at the time.Players, mentors and substitutes from both teams were said to have been involved.The referee is to submit his report on the matter to the CCC who will discuss it at their next sitting.  ‘Full-on melee’ results in abandonment GAA League game was last modified: March 12th, 2017 by Chris McNultyShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Michael Ward Promoted to Vice President of Loss Prevention & Safety at Lumber Liquidators

first_imgMichael Ward has been promoted to Vice President of Loss Prevention & Safety at Lumber Liquidators. Michael was formerly the Director of Loss Prevention & Safety for the retailer. Michael began his loss prevention career 23 years ago working for Montgomery Ward, holding positions on both the stores and supply chain side of the business. He has held positions with increasing responsibility with Montgomery Ward, Eckerd Drugs as a Regional Loss Prevention Representative, and Michael’s, where he eventually became Director of Distribution Loss Prevention & Safety before joining Lumber Liquidators in 2013. Congratulations Michael!- Sponsor – Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox.  Sign up nowlast_img read more

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