Transparent account of taxpayers’ money being urged

first_img5M ANSA McAL “emergency” contractIn the wake of a sole sourced, supposedly “emergency” contract for $605 million of pharmaceuticals authorised by Public Health Minister Volda Lawrence, on information provided by the CEO of the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation, stakeholders are demanding an explanation for the fiasco that has placed taxpayers’ dollars at stake.Preceding the “emergency drug procurement” by the Georgetown Hospital this year, several tenders were cancelled for several reasons. The company that was handed the sole sourced $605 million contract, ANSA McAL, was one of those that were rendered disqualified during one of the cancelled tenders by the Georgetown Public Hospital in 2016. This was disclosed by a source close to the ongoing investigation into a number of the drug procurement scandals under the Public Health Ministry.Public Health Minister Volda Lawrence in her explanation to the nation for her extraordinary intervention said the tenders were cancelled because some suppliers declared their inability to supply the drugs and because of some evidently collusion by some the officials of the Georgetown Hospital leaking information on bids to selected suppliers. On the specific “emergency contract”, Minister Lawrence explained she was not fully apprised of all the pertinent facts by the CEO of the Hospital.In an attempt to follow the trail of the antecedent events that led to the extraordinary allocation to ANSA McAL, the chronological sequence was compiled.Guyana Times was told that the Georgetown Hospital advertised for Procurement of Medical Supplies on October 2, 2016, with a tender deadline of November 1, 2016. Bids duly submitted on November 1, 2016 but this tender was cancelled.According to the source, the Georgetown Hospital then advertised for procurement of pharmaceuticals on November 5, 2016. The tender deadline was originally scheduled on November 22, 2016, but this was postponed to December 13, 2016. Bids were eventually submitted on December 13. The entire tender was cancelled.Notably, ANSA McAL, the source pointed out, would have been disqualified because at the opening, it was announced that they had bid security issues.This publication was told by a well-placed source that it was subsequent to this that the Georgetown Hospital arranged for a selective tender for ‘emergency pharmaceuticals’ on February 2, 2017. The tender was cancelled verbally on February 12 and in writing on February 14.Additionally, the Georgetown Hospital arranged for selective tender for procurement of medical supplies on February 3, 2017. According to the source, the tender deadline was postponed to February 14, 2017. Bids were submitted on February 14 but no awards or pronouncements were issued as yet.This is therefore presumably still under evaluation, more than a month later.In light of the cancelled tenders and the worsened drug crisis at the Georgetown Public Hospital, the Minister intervened and ordered that shortlisted – not pre-qualified – contractors be contacted and asked to supply the pharmaceuticals in the shortest time possible.She explained that had the normal procurement process route been taken, drugs would have arrived until several months after.On February 12, a request was made for items in stock in the country relative to the list of pharmaceutical and medical supplies (392 items) contained in the cancelled emergency tenders above.According to a source, one of the shortlisted contractors, NEW GPC submitted three quotes (not bids) for a total of 194 items and was subsequently asked to supply a few items to the valued $20.8 million.When contacted on the issue Tuesday this publication was told that the company has since completely fulfilled that order.NEW GPC also pointed out to this publication that it has already made public its position on the matter and wishes not to make any futher comments.It is unclear what process was used to award ANSA McAL a $605 million contract to supply drugs.When asked, the Minister claimed ignorance. Lawrence claimed unawareness of the procurement process embarked upon after her intervention; she was also unable to pinpoint if and how the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board was involved and what method was used to determine that ANSA McAL was best suited for the $605 million contract.Minister Lawrence had disclosed in a statement to the media that ANSA McAL donated four refrigerators to the Georgetown Hospital.In a live press conference on Monday, the Minister saved herself from the scandal, claiming that she was surprised to see that ANSA McAL was awarded a $605 million contract.The Minister said she had written the Chairman of the Georgetown Hospital Board, ordering an investigation into the entire situation.Management of the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation has been accused of deliberating creating an emergency situation in order to sole source drugs from its preferred supplier. Within the last four months, it has cancelled or delayed four of its five public tenders, thereby creating a situation wherein there was a massive shortage of pharmaceuticals.In a letter dated February 28, 2017, the Hospital’s CEO, Allan Johnson, thanked the Public Health Minister for authorising the procurement of medical supplies from ANSA McAL to the tune of $605,962,200, even though local firms could have supplied the same quantity and quality of drugs at cheaper prices.Questions are now being raised regarding what process was used to determine that ANSA McAL should receive the contract and why were local firms sidelined.last_img read more

Rape survivor ‘still in a prison’ as attacker loses appeal

first_imgA young Letterkenny woman has said that she is living with a ‘life sentence’ after being raped in 2015.Dominique Meehan (26) said she is still suffering and living with the daily effects of a violent rape which took place as a gaming convention in Dublin. Her attacker, Keith Hearne (30) of Allenton Drive, Tallaght, lost his appeal against the severity of his 12-year prison sentence on Monday. Hearne’s sentence was upheld for the rape, oral rape and false imprisonment of Ms Meehan at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Blanchardstown on July 4, 2015.In her victim impact statement, Ms Meehan said that her mental health, her daily life and her career have been disrupted by the attack.She said that she admitted herself to the mental health unit after learning about Hearne’s appeal and struggles with suicidal thoughts.“I was off college for a month and had to have emergency appointments at my local rape crisis centre for counselling,” she said.Ms Meehan waived her right to anonymity so that Hearne could be named after his conviction. She said that she is proud of her campaign for rape survivors and women, but she has lost friends and family who did not understand her reasons for going public.“I have no social life to speak of in Letterkenny because I’m terrified of going outside at night. It takes everything I’ve got to get up in the morning and go to college. My self esteem is non-existent. I am living at home with my parents now so they can take care of me. This is a massive loss to my independence,” she said.Ms Meehan explained that her daily actions are impacted by the brutal rape.“I can’t lock doors, I can’t sleep on my right side, I’m a movie buff and I have to spoil movies on myself to make sure there’s no violence against women in them,” she said, adding that she has nightmares about being pregnant with Hearne’s baby and self-harmed in the months after the attack.Ms Meehan, who is studying to be a youth worker, said she is struggling to complete the course and considered dropping out due to the stress of the appeal.Four years on from the attack, Ms Meehan said that she and her family cannot celebrate her birthday or Christmas, as she lives with two dates in mind – the day Hearne was jailed and the date of her rape.She said: “I’m still in a prison he has created for me on the 4th of July 2015. And I will be feeling the effects for the rest of my life. “Every year that goes on, people look at me and think that I should be over this by now. This is a life sentence. Keith Hearne only has to serve twelve years, possibly less, and then it will all be forgotten about. You tell me how that’s fair.”If you have been affected by this article, support is available with the Donegal Sexual Abuse & Rape Crisis Centre – Freephone: 1800 44 88 44 www.donegalrapecrisis.ieFor information about Sexual Assault Treatment Units, visit: http://www.hse.ie/eng/services/list/5/sexhealth/satu/Rape survivor ‘still in a prison’ as attacker loses appeal was last modified: May 14th, 2019 by Staff WriterShare 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

Freezing weekend forecast and snow could hit Donegal on Saturday night

first_imgDonegal could be hit by snow this weekend during what is expected to be “raw and very frosty” weather spell.Met Eireann has confirmed parts of Ireland will be waking up to blanket of white on Sunday morning.Showers will turn “increasingly wintry” on Saturday night, and brisk winds will hit as temperatures are set to plunge to -3C. A Met Eireann forecaster said: “Feeling raw this weekend; bright sunshine but wintry falls in places too. Very frosty at times also, with some icy stretches.“Saturday will be very cold with an added wind factor, owing to brisk westerly winds.Temperatures have already been getting lower this week with a dusting of strong sleet hitting the county on Wednesday morning last.Our picture shows Muckish after it received a light dusting of snow on Wednesday morning. It will be a frosty and icy start to Sunday and wintry showers may continue throughout the day. There will be overnight lows of -3C.Met Eireann forecast: “Some lying snow to begin, mainly across parts of the west and the north midlands.“Frost and ice in parts too. Scattered wintry showers during the day, but winter sunshine at times too.Freezing weekend forecast and snow could hit Donegal on Saturday night was last modified: December 13th, 2019 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:donegalMuckishSaturdaysnowlast_img read more

Belangel seizes top spot in 5th week of NBTC 24

first_img View comments Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:29Police 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 Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City SJ Belangel. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOTaking charge when it mattered the most for Ateneo, SJ Belangel moved past teammate Kai Sotto to take the No. 1 spot of this week’s Chooks-to-Go/National Basketball Training Center 24 Power Rankings.The senior floor general unleashed an awe-inspiring 31 points in the Blue Eaglets’ victory over NU Bullpups to complete a 14-0 sweep and propel his side to an outright Finals berth.ADVERTISEMENT NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Coach Kerr takes backseat in Warriors rout of Suns Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH Aside from the swap between the top studs, the top five remained largely intact with La Salle’s Joel Cagulangan, NCAA Juniors MVP Will Gozum of Mapua, and FEU’s L-Jay Gonzales still sitting pretty in their spots.One of this week’s biggest movers is newly-crowned UAAP juniors MVP CJ Cansino of University of Santo Tomas, who moved up to sixth place after dragging the Tiger Cubs to a fourth-place playoff against Adamson.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutBaby Falcons top gun Joem Sabandal also made the leap to 16, while Cebuano big man Alex Visser jumped to 17.Here is the complete list for the fifth week: Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises MOST READ For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. LATEST STORIES Read Next Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH AFP official booed out of forum Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting SJ Belangel, guard, Ateneo (2)Kai Sotto, center, Ateneo (1)Joel Cagulangan, guard, La Salle Greenhills (3)Will Gozum, center, Mapua (4)L-Jay Gonzales, guard, FEU-Diliman (5)CJ Cansino, forward, UST (9)Rhayyan Amsali, forward, NU (6)Dave Ildefonso, forward, Ateneo (7)Aaron Fermin, center, Arellano (10)Clint Escamis, guard, Mapua (11)John Galinato, guard, Chiang Kai Shek (12)Inand Fornilos, forward, CSB-LSGH (13)Warren Bonifacio, center, Mapua (14)RJ Abarrientos, guard, FEU-Diliman (8)Evan Nelle, guard, San Beda (15)Joem Sabandal, guard, Adamson (17)Alex Visser, center, SHS-Ateneo de Cebu (21)Terrence Fortea, guard, NU (16)Raven Cortez, center, La Salle Zobel (18)Beirn Laurente, guard, UV (20)Mac Guadaña, guard, Lyceum (22)Joaqui Manuel, forward, Ateneo (19)Harvey Pagsanjan, guard, Hope Christian (23)Maui Cruz, guard, EAC (24)Every week, a panel of coaches, sportswriters, and a statistician converge to come up with the weekly rankings to determine the top 24 high school players in the UAAP, CESAFI-NBTC, MMBL, and FCAAF tournaments, together with the recently concluded NCAA competition.The players were ranked based on the following criteria: league stats, impact in team, team record, leadership, defense, offense, and level of competition.The top 24 players still on the board for the power rankings in early March will be picked to play in the SM-National Basketball Training Center (NBTC) High School All-Star Game later that month at Mall of Asia Arena.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more