By Samuel Oyadongha
Yenagoaâ€”Civil society groups and politicians in Bayelsa State weekend berated the State House of Assembly over the latterâ€™s exclusion of stakeholders in the state from the processes that led to the passage and signing of the Public Procurement Bill, describing the action as deceitful and the law unacceptable to the people.
The Bayelsa Innovation Forum (BIF) and politicians, including members of Action Congress, had petitioned the State House of Assembly expressing the hope that stakeholders would be invited to make an input before the Procurement Bill is passed, but such request was turned down and the passage and signing was done in record time.
In their separate statements made available to newsmen in Yenagoa, the Action Congress (AC) through its state Secretary, Comrade Ebikibina Miriki, and the Director of Media and Publicity of the Bayelsa Innovation Forum (BIF),Comrade Jonny Ben, both groups said the action of the State House of Assembly was a clear show of fraud and a failure to the needed accountability processes in the fiscal planning of the state government.
The action of the House, the Bayelsa Innovation Forum scribe, said â€œis disheartening when it waited until the state government awarded almost all contracts provided for in the 2009 fiscal year before passing the Bill on Public Procurement.
â€œSuch important Bill should have been passed before the award of fictitious contracts and bloated quotations done in the past.
â€œHowever, the House of Assembly failed in their function when they left out the media, civil society organisations and other relevant agencies in the discussion leading to the passage of the Bill.Â It is deliberate, deceitful and fraudulent.â€
The BIF noted that though wrongs have been done the people through the quick and clandestine passage of the Public Procurement Law, the Speaker, the Finance Commissioner and the Information Commissioner, should ensure correction and transparency, equity, fairness and professionalism, and make public copies of the Procurement Law to the people.
The Action Congress (AC) said it was not surprised by the action of the State House of Assembly due to the earlier prediction that the Peoples Democratic Partyâ€™s administration in the state was out to engage in wastage and plundering of the state resources.
â€œWe are vindicated and they have passed a default law, tagged Public Procurement Law, not known by the people,â€ the party said.