Dear Editor,The Auditor General’s warning to Permanent Secretaries and REOs about “contract splitting” piqued my interest; I pulled on that thread and was surprised to see how quickly a cloak of respectability unravelled into a heap of corruption.It involves the Ministry of Public Infrastructure (MoPI), the use of the Demerara Harbour Bridge Company (DHBC), and the new asphalt plant in a scheme to bypass procurement safeguards for goods, services and construction projects. Malfeasance ranges from ‘slush fund’ dips to the more complex under-threshold contracts and emergency works contingencies.The public is well aware of the $153 million paid for a feasibility study to Dutch consulting firm Lievense CSO; however, in December 2017, a further $62 million was spent and in 2018, an additional $74 million was budgeted and spent. Total expenditure (to date) has surpassed $300M with the MoPI making regular withdrawals for items such as vehicles for consultants.The DHBC has paid for overseas travel for the CEO and Patterson to visit the asphalt plant manufacturer in Germany, despite the bid being done and won by open tender, and also for first-class travel of a close family member of the Minister to Trinidad. There has been no attempt to hide the use of funds at DHBC; the line items are clearly shown in the ledgers. The use of the new asphalt plant as an engine of corruption is even more insidious.In February 2019, the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB) announced adjustments to thresholds that will allow ministries and state agencies to spend more without going to that body. The new threshold for goods and services is now $10M, up from $3M, while the limits for contracts for construction are doubled from $10M to $20M.The MoPI does not include asphalt (very costly) in contracts that it wants to avoid open bidding and public scrutiny. Normally, a company would bid for a contract and source asphalt on its own, this would usually mean profits for the DHBC— which operates the asphalt plant. By providing companies with the asphalt component, MoPI can award multiple $20M contracts without raising alarms. There is no suggestion of corruption in the operations of the asphalt plant.It is the same with the use of ‘emergency works’, which is the other ruse used to bypass the procurement process by MoPI. There is the well-documented example where a crack in the seawall (Dantzig) in February was allowed to become a major breach (Cottage to Belvedere) in October; to date, over $1.2 billion has been expended from the Contingency Fund to repair ($460M August and $800M October). It would seem there is profit in the misery of others.The MoPI inexplicably renegotiated a ‘fixed-price’ contract for a new airport and an extended runway (CJIA) using claims that 90% of the funds were paid to the contractor who had only completed 20% of the work. In a fixed-price contract, you can pay 100% upfront; the work contracted must be completed for the price agreed. The result is a shoddily refurbished airport, fewer air-bridges and an additional USD 30M bill for the taxpayer.A report from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) study, titled “Wait No More: Citizens, Red Tape, and Digital Government” was released earlier this month. It revealed that in Guyana, “Manual Government transactions, face-to-face interactions, and the lack of standardised processes mean that transactions are vulnerable to dishonest behaviour”. In examining the actions of the MoPI, I can concur wholeheartedly.Editor, all of these examples of ways and means of bypassing the procurement process involve just one ministry, whose Minister, David Patterson, claims that he was exonerated by a SOCU investigation of his conduct concerning the new Bridge Feasibility Study, I would ask that the SOCU report be made public as I am reliably informed that the report did no such thing. There are clear indications that the APNU/AFC gutted SOCU after they failed to build substantive cases against PPP/C government officials and moved onto investigating at least seven Ministers of Granger’s administration.The request for these investigations came from the highest levels and yet was thwarted. The man who promised the ‘good life’ was rendered impotent, he now comes with talk of a ‘decade of development’; Granger could not deliver one week of a competent, honest or transparent government in five years but wants a decade; the only transformation has been depleted reserves from US$968M to less than zero; the public accounts from black to red; from a parliamentary democracy to dictatorship; from rule of law to rule by decree.Our only hope is that the Squandermania will be curtailed by the 1/12th spending provision in the Constitution, given the innovations and brazen nature of the corruption by Granger’s cabal to date, this is a hope held on a tenuous thread; one pull and it all falls apart.Respectfully,Robin Singh
Boone expects to be up in the Peace River region within the next few weeks. Lois Boone has officially been declared the NDP candidate for the Prince George-Peace River riding.At Saturday’s nomination meeting in Prince George, Boone was formally nominated as the party’s federal candidate. She had been an uncontested candidate but Boone says she’s looking forward to her campaign and being a strong voice for the north.- Advertisement -Currently, she is a trustee for School Board 57 in Prince George.She says two of her main campaign points focus on calling on the federal government to remove the federal tax from home heating fuel for British Columbians and to once again implement its home retrofit program. She says reinstating the program will allow residents the opportunity to help make their homes more energy efficient.Furthermore, Boone says her party is still requesting that the Prime Minister call a by-election for the riding.[asset|aid=3306|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=8e897bbae20152c9a457db9ba7417773-Boone – byelection 1_1_Pub.mp3] Advertisement
That’s more than eight times the annual amount attached to the new deal with Moscow, and China’s war on pollution could see an additional demand for natural gas as it moves away from coal. The Post says Beijing has made it clear it will not be a pawn in Vladimir Putin’s great global gas game.The Post quotes the Wood Mackenzie consultancy, saying “the $400 billion, 30-year deal announced last week certainly has global ramifications.”However it also says, Beijing must be mindful of lessons learned from Europe and it must never leave the keys to its energy security in the hands of the dictatorial Russian runt.- Advertisement -There are already reports that China is stockpiling crude oil to account for supply disruptions in the event of sanctions on Moscow, or geopolitical tensions in the South China Sea.Scotiabank Economics and Commodity Market Specialist, Patricia Mohr says many big buyers in Asia wish to have a diversified source of gas supply, and B.C. LNG would offer that with relatively low shipping costs to market.The article also focuses on what it calls “China’s insatiable thirst for natural gas”, noting the Beijing demand is set to grow by more than two and half times by 2020, reaching about 307 billion cubic meters.Advertisement
Ronaldo-powered Juventus have achieved a record number of points before the three-week winter break with 53 from 19 games.Napoli are nine points behind in second, with Inter Milan a further five adrift in third, days after their clash at the San Siro was overshadowed by the death of a supporter with Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly targetted by racist chanting.Koulibaly was suspended for Saturday’s game but fans showed their support in his San Paolo stadium by wearing masks with the defender’s face and holding up banners saying: “We are all Koulibaly”.Dries Mertens sealed victory two minutes from time after Bologna battled back twice to level Milik’s goals on 15 and 51 minutes.“It was important to end the year on a high and it wasn’t at all easy,” said Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri after a game in which the video assistant referee played a key role.Napoli fans hold pictures of Senegalese defender Kalidou Koulibaly who was a victim of racist chants during the week in Milan. © AFP / Carlo HermannTwo penalties were decided by VAR with Sampordia also having a late equaliser ruled out.Ronaldo curled in the opener after just two minutes in Turin, adding a second from the spot on 65 minutes, to go top of Serie A’s scoring charts on 14 goals.Fabio Quagliarella pulled the Genoa outfit level with a penalty on 33 minutes, before Riccardo Saponara’s late equaliser was ruled offside.Sampdoria coach Marco Giampaolo, dismissing Ronaldo’s penalty as “a gift,” adding “that Saponara goal should never have been cancelled”.“For me, morally, the game was 2-2.”The seven-time reigning champions have dropped points just twice, against Genoa in October and Atalanta midweek, and are firmly on track for an eighth consecutive Scudetto.“Records are meaningless, if not to improve and raise the bar,” said Allegri.“We do have the perception that with Cristiano Ronaldo there’s a better chance of winning the Champions League. However, we’re not even in January yet and there’s a very long way to go.”– Higuain rescues AC Milan –The Portuguese striker found a way through early, picking up a Paulo Dybala cross to fire in past Sampdoria’s on-loan Juventus goalkeeper Emil Audero.Sampdoria pulled level following a penalty awarded following an Emre Can handball with Quagliarella making no mistake.Napoli’s Polish forward Arkadiusz Milik scored his third hat-trick in Serie A this season. © AFP / Carlo HermannThe 35-year-old became the first player to score in nine consecutive Serie A games since David Trezeguet for Juventus in 2005.Audero deflected over a Ronaldo header on the hour but the hosts went ahead when the referee pointed to the spot for an Alex Ferrari handball.Substitute Saponara looked to have grabbed a point deep into injury time but VAR ruled he was in an offside position.Napoli got back to winning ways after last week’s defeat in Milan, despite missing Koulibaly and Lorenzo Insigne, who were both suspended, and injured captain Marek Hamsik.Bologna’s Federico Santander and Danilo levelled twice with headers before Mertens secured the win with a powerful drive from a distance.“We’re on track with expectations,” said Napoli coach Carlo Ancelotti.“We had some good results that have only been watered down by an extraordinary Juventus run.”Earlier Inter Milan earned back-to-back wins with Senegalese winger Keita Balde scoring on 72 minutes in a game played without their fans after the racist abuse aimed at Koulibaly in the San Siro.Roma profitted from Sampdoria’s defeat to move up to sixth just two points off the Champions League places, thanks to second half goals for Bryan Cristante (58) and Cengiz Under (75) in a 2-0 win over Parma.Senegalese forward Keita Balde scored his fourth Serie A goal this season for Inter Milan © AFP / Filippo MONTEFORTELazio were held 1-1 by Torino in the Stadio Olimpico, as Atalanta beat Sassuolo 6-2 with Slovenian Josip Ilicic scoring a second-half hat-trick.At the San Siro, Argentine forward Gonzalo Higuain got back scoring after a two-month drought firing in the winner in a 2-1 victory for AC Milan over struggling SPAL.Gennaro Gattuso’s side move up to fifth, one point behind Lazio, to end their four-game winless run.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Cristiano Ronaldo went top of the Serie A scorers chart with 14 goals this season. © AFP / Marco BERTORELLOMILAN, Italy, Dec 30 – Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice as Juventus closed out 2018 on a high with a 2-1 win over Sampdoria to set a new points record in Serie A before the winter break on Saturday.Not to be outdone, however, Napoli’s Arkadiusz Milik also bagged a brace with a 3-2 home win against Bologna to keep the pressure on the champions.
1 Leeds have handed Under-21s captain Lewie Coyle a new professional contract – according to the young defender’s professional boxer brother, Tommy.The right-back has come through the ranks at the club and was handed his first pro deal during the summer.He has since spent time on loan at Harrogate Town but that was cut short following an injury.However, it is not all bad news for Coyle, who has apparently earned himself new terms at Leeds already after impressing new manager Steve Evans.His famous brother Tommy, a former IBF international lightweight champion, tweeted: “Really proud of my young brother Lewie who has just signed another contract with Leeds United.”Evans has been overjoyed by the 20-year-old’s progress since his arrival at the club, and insisted he would have stepped up into the first-team sooner if not a suspension he picked up in action for the club’s U21s side.Speaking ahead of Friday’s friendly against Wycombe, Evans told the club’s official website: “We’d have loved to have played young Coyley, he’d have certainly played a part.“I love that boy and he’s got a real chance, but he’s suspended and the FA advised us that we can’t involve him at Wycombe, otherwise he would have been.“His time will come. In the short term we need to get him playing men’s football from Under-21s – there’s a world of difference when three points are at stake.“We need to get him playing football . Whether that’s sending him out for a little while… We’re looking at all the options now.“He’s training with the first team every day now and in two-and-a-half to three weeks, I’ve seen him get much, much better. And I mean significantly better.” Leeds United hand new contract to highly-rated starlet Lewie Coyle
“You look at Kevin de Bruyne and David Silva – week-in, week-out they are brilliant for City – but this guy comes along, and there’s no doubting his ability, but something is just not right.“I think Jose is right to say, ‘look, you’re annoying the dressing room, you’re annoying me, if you don’t like it, see you later’.“It’s best to get rid and I think that may strengthen Man United.“Every day I’m reading it in the papers, Pogba this, Pogba that – I’m sick of it to be honest.” “I’m sick of it!” 😡 #MUFC midfielder Paul Pogba has reportedly had ANOTHER bust-up with Jose Mourinho……and Alan wants an end to the saga! pic.twitter.com/N5qzLXktsP— The Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast (@SportsBreakfast) August 16, 2018 2 Reports on Thursday have even claimed Mourinho has dared the World Cup winner to hand in a transfer request, if he really does want to leave the club.The midfielder and manager’s apparent feud had appeared to be mended when Pogba captained United to a win over Leicester City in the club’s Premier League opener last week.Mourinho praised the Frenchman’s performance as he netted in the 2-1 victory, but after the game Pogba hinted that he was still unhappy with his situation at Old Trafford.It appears the long-running saga over the £89million star’s future will continue until the very end of the month, but Brazil – for one – has had enough.The Sports Breakfast host and former Manchester United striker said on Thursday: “I’m not happy with Pogba, I think he’s arrogant, he’s aloof…“The way he struts about, if he was playing eight-out-of-ten every week then I’d say, ‘well he’s got a point’, but he doesn’t! Alan Brazil has slammed ‘arrogant’ Paul Pogba and believes Manchester United would be better off if they sold the French star to Barcelona this summer.Pogba is said to be keen to leave Old Trafford for the Nou Camp before the end of the month, with his relationship with manager Jose Mourinho reportedly hitting a new low after another bust-up. Paul Pogba was praised for his performances at the World Cup, but has not been the same player in a United shirt 2 Could Paul Pogba seal a move away from Old Trafford this summer?
Two people have been seriously hurt after a head-on collision in the early hours of this morning.Two people have been seriously injured in the crash.A total of six people have been hospitalised as a result of the crash which happened on the Quay Road in Dungloe.All six people were rushed to Letterkenny General Hospital but only two are understood to be seriously injured. Emergency services rushed to the scenes of the crash which happened just after 6am.The identities of those involved have not been released but all are understood to be form the locality.A full Garda investigation has been launched into the cause of the crash.The road has been closed while a full forensic examination takes place. TWO SERIOUSLY INJURED FOLLOWING HEAD-ON COLLISION was last modified: October 6th, 2014 by StephenShare 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) Tags:crashdonegaldungloeGardaiLetterkenny General HospitalSERIOUS INJURIES
David Luiz has been dropped for the game at Stamford Bridge, where N’Golo Kante starts.Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has brought in Andreas Christensen. Antonio Rudiger is on the bench and Luiz has been left out of the squad altogether.Kante finally returns to action following his hamstring problem, handing the champions a major boost.For United, Phil Jones, Antonio Valencia, Ander Herrera, Ashley Young, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Marcus Rashford all returnChelsea: Courtois; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Cahill; Zappacosta, Bakayoko, Kante, Fabregas, Alonso; Hazard, Morata.Subs: Caballero, Rudiger, Ampadu, Drinkwater, Willian, Pedro, Batshuayi.Manchester United: De Gea, Bailly, Jones, Smalling, Valencia, Hererra, Matic, Young, Mkhitaruan, Lukaku, Rashford.Subs: Romero, Blind, Darmian, Fellaini, McTominay, Lingard, Martial. Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
11 April 2006South African boat builders established themselves as a force to be reckoned with in the Strictly Sail section of the Miami International Boat Show in Florida in February, winning a number of awards and millions of dollars in orders.A luxurious 23 metre Silhouette 760 catamaran built by Matrix Yachts of Killarney Gardens, Cape Town was named “star of the show” and sold for US$3.95-million.Another South African prizewinner was Woodstock-based Robertson and Caine, which won an innovation award for its 4000 class catamarans.For the first time, South Africa had its own pavilion at the prestigious show. Hundreds of potential customers and investors visited the pavilion which received the Best of Show award for the outstanding quality of its design and of the products exhibited.The 12 South African exhibitors included eight boat builders displaying catamarans ranging in length from 12 to 23 metres. The builders included Matrix Yachts, Admiral Yachts, Charter Cats, Sky Blue Yachts, Royal Cape Catamarans and St Francis Marine.The builders racked up sales during the show estimated at $13-million, with other South African exhibitors taking in another $770,000. All told, the South African firms received more than 3 500 inquiries and sales leads.There has not been a year since 1997 when a South African boat has not earned or been nominated for one or other Boat of the Year award in the US.The infrastructure is in place for the local industry to keep growing, especially in the Western Cape, where most of the country’s boat builders are located. There is no shortage of labour, and a new South African Boatbuilding Academy will soon be adding to the supply of skills.Builders are also brimming with confidence. According to the latest South African Boatbuilding Industry Guide, nearly 90% of companies have made significant recent investments in developing new designs, moulds and tooling and expanding capacity.Forward order books are healthy, with some of the larger companies reporting advance orders of between 75% and 100% of their capacity.Opening the South Africa pavilion in Florida, New York Consul General Fikile Magubane said the exhibitors were “true examples of why we say that South Africa is alive with possibility.“This pavilion, the boats and products on display here, and the people behind them, tell an important story about today’s South Africa.“It’s a story of innovation, world-class engineering and design. It’s a story of competitiveness, determination and capacity to find solutions.”Veda Raubenheimer, project coordinator for the South African Boatbuilders Business Council, said the inaugural South African Pavilion was an “overwhelming success . We look forward to a stronger presence in 2007, showcasing other South African boatbuilders and products”.The pavilion’s sponsors included the SA Boat Builders Business Council, the Department of Trade and Industry and the South African Consulate General in New York, with support from SA Tourism, SA Airways, Wines of South Africa and the David Frost winery.
Already in tough spot, TNT could miss 3 key cogs for 2 games PBA IMAGESGreg Slaughter thinks that Barangay Ginebra has yet to play at its best this 2018 PBA Philippine Cup.“I don’t think we’re peaking yet,” he said. “We still got two more tough games ahead of us. We’ll just take it one at a time.”ADVERTISEMENT NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises LATEST STORIES MOST READ John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH Slaughter shared the spotlight to the likes of Kevin Ferrer, who drilled two huge treys which triggered the fourth quarter pullaway, Scottie Thompson, who kickstarted the attack with his relentless rebounding and excellent playmaking, and Mark Caguioa, who made the most of his limited time on the floor playing active for the Gin Kings.“It was just a team effort,” he said.With games against Meralco and Rain or Shine ahead, Slaughter hopes Ginebra will be able sustain its game and advance to the quarterfinals.“Hopefully, we could just jell more and get a little more production out of our bench as the season goes on,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice PLAY LIST 01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice00:50Trending Articles00:59Old rivals Fajardo, Slaughter finally face off in the PBA Finals01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Read Next If Ginebra’s game against TNT is any indication, it seems like the Gin Kings are slowly getting close to being at their full potential.Riding the trio of Slaughter, LA Tenorio, and Japeth Aguilar, Ginebra eviscerated the KaTropa in the fourth quarter to take a 93-78 win on Sunday for a share of the the fifth spot at 5-4.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutSlaughter said the win would not be possible if not for the effort of their teammates.“It may show up in the stat sheet that we scored a lot of points, but there’s a lot of intangible plays made by our guys off the bench,” he said. AFP official booed out of forum 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC View comments