Following a special investigation into the Sussex Street bond debate, the Guyana Audit Office has found that the Procurement Act has been clearly breached.
Among their recommendations is for the police to launch an investigation into the matter.
According to the report compiled by the Auditor General, Deodat Sharma, the medical storage bond contract was not publicly advertised or procured in accordance with tender board procedures and the Procurement Act 2003.
The Ministry of Public Health at the time had always claimed to rent the bond from Linden Holdings Inc. because it is needed on an emergency basis. However, the Audit Office found that while $ 25 Million was paid for the first two months the bond was rented, the bond was not used until after three months.
There is also uncertainty about the date the contract actually ended. The contract was due to last from June 1, 2016 and until June 30, 2019.
Pursuant to the need for one year’s notice, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Public Health at the time had sent an initial Notice of Exit letter dated October 31, 2016, informing Linden Holdings of the intention to vacate the building by November 1, 2017.
“However, an examination of this letter revealed that it was signed and issued without the Ministry’s official letterhead. There was evidence of someone signing a Document Transfer Slip on 8 November 2016 receiving the Notice to Quit, ”the AG said.
Moreover, Linden Holdings Inc., owned by Larry Singh, has always argued that the Notice to quit is not valid because of the lack of a letterhead or official stamp. This was quoted by Singh’s lawyers back in October 2017, as well as what they believe to be a lack of “due cause”.
In a letter from his lawyers, Singh had claimed that the deal continued for his fixed three-year term until June 2019, in which case the government would still owe him $ 137.5 Million.
As such, in his recommendations, the Auditor General urged that the Ministry of Legal Affairs be engaged “with a view to bringing this matter to an end and, if necessary, appropriate disciplinary action being taken against any officer (s) “and” “Guyana Police Call in police to carry out detailed investigation and set up charges where necessary. ”