‘No Money Paid for Awarding Contracts’

first_imgPublic Works Minister Gyude Moore has lashed out at people who he said are trying to tarnish his hard-earned reputation by insinuating that road construction contracts are awarded to firms for a kickback.“There is no way anybody at the Ministry of Public Works under my leadership would award a contract to a firm that does not qualify for it simply because somebody has been given money to be able to do it,” he said.In an interview in Monrovia yesterday, Minister Moore described himself as a professional. “I think it is important for people to understand that my training is not in engineering. I am a good manager and that is why the President sent me to the Ministry of Public Works.”Trained in foreign policy and international security, Moore said he is not one of those people who want to spend their entire lives working for the government. “What I want to be able to do is I believe what the President was trying to do for this country, and that is why I left graduate school and came back home to work for her, for our country in the government that she has established. So when this is done, I am walking away from the government,” he said.Moore said that as Minister of Public Works, he does not by himself evaluate the bid to award a contract. Rather, the Minister is the head of the procurement committee. “But when bids are open, all of the prices are announced and every contractor who bidded on the contract hears the prices. Then the Ministry appoints an ad hoc committee or bid evaluation committee which does the evaluation and makes a report to the procurement committee,” he explained. The procurement committee, according to Moore, does not do the evaluation, but listens to what the evaluation does, and then they vote up or down.In this fiscal year, Moore disclosed, his Ministry has US$23 million for ongoing works, US$4 million of that amount for repairs and maintenance while US$3 million is put under the Small Business Act (SBA) so that only Liberian companies can compete for it. For instance, he said the US$1.5 million side walk construction project from Vamoma House to S. D. Cooper Road was won by the Liberian company MDNC. “When I first came to public works, one of the things that I noticed, and it happened in the middle of the Ebola crisis, was that almost all expatriate firms left the country and the only people who remained and were working were Liberian companies,” he noted.Based on this, Moore disclosed that he had a meeting with the African Development Bank (AfDB) and raised the suggestion that certain percentage of civil works expected on the Fish Town-Harper road project should be subcontracted to Liberian companies.“This will allow them to be able to copy and transfer knowledge so that in the future these companies would be able to bid for some of the big contracts,” Moore said.The AfDB told him that it was a good idea, but that such a change occurs during the project appraisal and that the Fish Town-Harper road project had already been appraised, he saidHowever, he said AfDB noted that whoever wins the contract during negotiations, the Ministry can negotiate with them so that part of it would be given to a Liberian company.Moore said a similar discussion was brought up when the Arabs came for the Gbarnga-Mendikorma road.“So when people say that we don’t care about Liberian companies, I have no idea what they are talking about because I want to see evidence of any Public Works Minister before me that approached international lending institutions to talk about the possibility of subcontracting, putting it in the appraisal documents for subcontracting civil works to Liberian companies. “We are doing everything within our power to be able to empower Liberian companies, but by the same token, we have to get value for money. If a Liberian company is deserving and meets the criteria, that company will be awarded the contract,” he said. This practice of trying to destroy a person, to damage his reputation, is giving reason for a lot of young people to think that maybe as soon as one goes into government, “you have to be corrupt, which is not the case,” he contended. “But because people cannot win a contract legitimately, they do everything within their power to destroy other people,” the Minister observed.Moore, however, said he was not troubled by what he described as “wild allegations of bribe taking” because “some of those people making those claims are not credible characters, and everybody knows some of them offer opinions for money.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

DONEGAL WIND FARM CAMPAIGNERS JOIN NEW NATIONAL LOBBY GROUP

first_imgFor the first time groups from all over Ireland including Co Donegal will be gathering to address the growing unease in communities around the expansion of wind farms across the country.It is proposed that a new organisation be formed which will be called the Campaign for Responsible Engagement with Wind Energy (CREWE).Fifteen community groups from as far away as Donegal and Cork will attend the first National Meeting in Strokestown, Co. Roscommon on the 16th June. One of the organisers of the national gathering, Yvonne Cronin, said that for some time local communities have been concerned about “the lack of informed debate” around proposed wind energy developments.The main concerns include the current wind energy guidelines which allow wind turbines taller than the Dublin Spire to be built only 500 metres from family homes.The new grouping say a recent editorial in the British Medical Journal “clearly highlights the health implications associated with the noise of wind turbines for people who live close by.”Said Yvonne: “Other concerns include the impact on our tourist landscapes and the lack of proper economic costing regarding wind energy. Prominent economist Colm McCarthy has predicted a potential ‘NAMA’ for wind farms and many people fear that wind turbines will go the same route as the empty housing estates which litter rural Ireland.” Ms. Cronin said that communities were also concerned about “the lack of meaningful engagement” with local residents in the pre-planning stage of wind farm development.The meeting will be opened by Senator John Kelly from Co. Roscommon. Senator Kelly has introduced the Wind Turbine Bill 2012 to the Seanad.The Bill has been introduced to define minimum distances of turbines from family homes according to the height of wind turbines.If this legislation is passed it would mean that the current generation of large wind turbines will have to be 1.5 kms from family homes.Other speakers include Val Martin, Irish representative of the European Platform Against Wind Farms (www.epaw.org). Val has researched extensively the engineering and economic value of wind energy. His presentation will be followed by a talk by Peter Crossan who is a spokesperson for a group that assists communities impacted by wind farm development.Peter has a strong interest in planning and environmental matters associated with wind farms.
 
Professor Alun Evans from Queen’s University Belfast will be the final speaker. Professor Evans co-wrote the March 2012 editorial of the peer reviewed British Medical Journal which describes research concerning the health concerns of living near wind turbines and concludes that the evidence points towards adverse health impacts.The National meeting is to occur at the Percy French Hotel, Strokestown, Co. Roscommon at 2pm Saturday 16th June. A closed meeting to discuss the operation of the national organisation will occur at 4pm.* Anyone interested in attending the meeting are welcome. Yvonne CroninKnockalough Community GroupGalwayTel. 087 2467 028Mike de Jong
 Sliabh Ban Community GroupRoscommonTel. 0879143834Website www.creweirl.comDONEGAL WIND FARM CAMPAIGNERS JOIN NEW NATIONAL LOBBY GROUP was last modified: June 8th, 2012 by BrendaShare 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:DONEGAL WIND FARM CAMPAIGNERS JOIN NEW NATIONAL LOBBY GROUPlast_img read more