Corrupt DHB contractOpposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has lamented that almost four months after the investigation was completed into the award of a sole-sourced contract for a feasibility study into the construction of the new Demerara River Bridge, no charges have yet been instituted.Opposition Leader Bharrat JagdeoThe contract in question was awarded to Dutch company LievenseCSO for a feasibility study into the new bridge. A probe conducted by the Public Procurement Commission (PPC), upon request from the People’s Progressive Party/Civic(PPP/C), had flagged Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson for requesting from Cabinet that the $148 million contract be sole-sourced instead of being processed through the Procurement Board as the law says should be done.As a result of the findings, the Opposition last August asked the Guyana Police Force’s Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) to investigate the PPC’s findings.According to Jagdeo, that probe was completed since January this year and the file was handed over to the Police Legal Advisor for advice and to date, there is no update as to what is happening with the matter.“So, from January to now, on a project that is totally corrupt – where the probe was completed – we haven’t seen any single charge laid against the Minister. He should have been charged by now and before the courts for corruption. The same minister who welcomes the probe and doesn’t know there are probes taking place,” the Opposition Leader said at his recent media briefing.Public Infrastructure Minister David PattersonPointing out that Patterson has a lot to answer for regarding controversial projects under his Ministry, Jagdeo, a former President, outlined that the matter was not being pushed with the alacrity it requires but had it been a PPP Minister then the response would have been different.“Since January, the Police completed the probe … and every week, the media asks when you’re gonna charge some of the PPP people, but what about Patterson? They should be asking the Police “when do you intend to charge.” We are now almost approaching May and they finish the probe since January (but nothing has come out yet),” he stated.On March 29, Guyana Times contacted SOCU Head Sydney James for an update on the matter, but he hung up the phone.Recent efforts by this newspaper to contact him again as well as other senior officers of the Police Force on the probe into the sole-sourced contract were futile.Nevertheless, Minister Patterson last month had indicated to this publication that he understood that SOCU has concluded its investigations, but he was uncertain of the findings.However, the Public Infrastructure Minister noted that the project for the new bridge is expected to come up at the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB) soon.According to him, “That is supposed to be a public-private partnership. It’s being piloted at the moment, reviewed by the public-private unit under the Ministry of Finance with the help from the [Caribbean Development Bank] CDB and obviously that will go to tender shortly.”Based on a complaint filed by then Opposition Chief Whip, Gail Teixeira, the Procurement Commission completed its investigation into the award of the contract for a feasibility study on a new Demerara River bridge and handed its report over on August 7, 2018. The report noted that several companies had bid for the project to do the feasibility study and design for the new Demerara River bridge and 12 companies had been shortlisted.It further outlined that only two of the 12 companies had made proposals. As such, the bidding process was annulled. It added that on November 12, 2016, the Tender Administration Board approved the move for the project to be re-tendered. The project was not re-tendered; instead, Dutch company LievenseCSO was engaged by the Public Infrastructure Ministry to do the work.Page seven of the report noted that the bid from LievenseCSO was “unsolicited”, but Patterson took the company’s proposal to Cabinet for approval, and Cabinet granted its approval for the company to be engaged. The report, on page seven, stated that monies to be spent on the project were taken from the Demerara Harbour Bridge Corporation (Asphalt Plant Accounts).It was subsequently announced that SOCU would be investigating the matter. Patterson submitted a statement to the investigative unit in September 2018, although this was criticised as the Opposition said the same standard utilised for questioning its members should apply to Government.Around that time, Opposition politicians were being questioned at SOCU headquarters over other matters.
The team, led by JPL’s Son Nghiem, studied trends in Arctic perennial ice cover by combining data from NASA’s Quick Scatterometer satellite with a computing model based on observations of sea ice drift from the International Arctic Buoy Programme. The satellite can map different classes of sea ice, including older, thicker perennial ice and younger, thinner seasonal ice. The scientists said they observed less perennial ice cover in March of this year than ever before, with the thick ice confined to the Arctic Ocean north of Canada. Nghiem said the decline in winter ice the past two years was caused by unusual winds. “The winds causing this trend in ice reduction were set up by an unusual pattern of atmospheric pressure that began at the beginning of this century,” the scientist said. By City News Service A team from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena found a 23 percent loss in the extent of the Arctic’s thick, year-round ice cover during the past two winters, according to a study released Monday. The reduction of winter sea ice is the primary cause of this summer’s fastest-ever sea ice retreat on record and subsequent smallest-ever extent of total Arctic coverage, according to the scientists. Between the Arctic winters of 2005 and 2007, the perennial ice shrunk by an area the size of Texas and California combined. The severe loss continues a trend of rapid decreases in perennial ice extent in this decade, according to the study to be published this week in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Every current Premier League club’s best kit from the past decade 3 smart causal Jordi Alba was reminded of that this month. When the first Spain squad under the new coach was announced last week ahead of the England game, his name was a glaring absence. For the avoidance of doubt: Alba is fit, playing well for Barcelona, and at 29, still has at least one tournament left in him. He is also Spain’s best left-back by some margin.It is reasonable to ask why one of Spain’s best players has been omitted from Luis Enrique’s group – a clear statement of his intent going forward. We don’t have a direct answer because the national team boss refused to take questions on the matter at his press conference when naming the squad, but the fact that Alba’s time under him at Barça ended on the bench has not gone unnoticed in Spain.Nor has the fact that some of Alba’s past comments on his relationship with the manager were not exactly glowing. The first arrived once it was confirmed there would be a change in coach at Barcelona in 2017. “Here I have the complete confidence of the boss, which I take as a compliment and gives me confidence – something I don’t have at Barça and would perhaps like to,” the defender said, ironically enough while on Spain duty at the time. REVEALED Jordi Alba has won 66 caps for Spain and won Euro 2012 Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? RANKED Best clips, calls and talkSPORT moments of 2019, feat Hearn, McCoist and more possible standings Every Championship club’s best signing of the decade, including Taarabt and Dack Falter, and in particular if that is through individual errors from the left side of the back-line, and the new man in charge will have created a rod for his own back that gives some of the people who held those famous grudges with him over the years the perfect ammunition to take aim and question his judgement only weeks into the job.Regardless, this isn’t the last time Luis Enrique will make a call that turns heads and defies perceived wisdom. A man who doesn’t shy from controversial decisions, Spain knew what they were getting when the ex Barça man was put in charge. Intensity, dedication, bravery and just occasionally, fury. You’re either with him or against him. And when you’re against him he won’t forget it.Follow @LeeRoden89 on Twitter here. BEST OF silverware When Ernesto Valverde took over at the Camp Nou last summer the subject reared its head again. “I feel a lot better. I’m happy and playing, which for some time wasn’t the case,” he said after returning to the Blaugrana starting XI.The suspicion in Spain is that Luis Enrique’s decision to snub Alba this month is a form of payback for the player having the audacity to challenge his team selection at Barcelona. We can only speculate on whether that is true given the impossibility of receiving a direct response from the national team boss, but as any journalist who has been unfortunate enough to ask the manager something he doesn’t like at a press conference already knows, grudges come easily. Forgiveness, not so much.The big call could prove to be a self-defeating move. Since taking the Spain job Luis Enrique has made a clear effort to prove he is a reasonable, fair coach, in part because of the baggage he has when it comes to Real Madrid (who account for six of the 24 players in La Roja’s squad). For some context: this is a man who only a year ago, while still Barça boss, was asked about Gerard Piqué criticising Los Blancos and replied bluntly “as I’m more radical than Piqué, it’s best I don’t answer”.Omitting Alba has already eaten away at a small portion of the benefit of the doubt the coach has worked to build up regarding his stewardship of the national team. In a column in Marca, Emilio Contreras reacted to the decision by saying “if Alba’s isn’t there, the best aren’t there”. MONEY Ronaldo warned Lukaku how hard scoring goals in Serie A would be before Inter move highlights Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade impact ADVICE England’s most successful clubs of the past decade, according to trophies won “His replacements, José Luis Gayà and Marcos Alonso, are well behind him,” he added.That sentiment was echoed by Diego Torres in El Pais, who noted that “few full-backs in the world can do what Alba and Dani Carvajal can. Unless Luis Enrique is planning something different, the absence of Alba creates a problem needing solved”.To his credit (or perhaps to the credit of the people advising him), Alba’s public reaction to a lack of Spain action this week was reconciliatory. “Clearly I want to join up with the national team but the coach has taken a decision and you have to respect it. I never said a bad word about him. I think he’s a great coach,” the 29-year-old explained.For the defender, who has a sizeable temper of his own, and is no doubt hurting as he watches team-mates depart for Wembley while he remains in Catalonia, it was a tempered and likely wise move.How the story develops in the short term will be defined by how Spain do in London on Saturday, then when they host World Cup runners-up Croatia in Elche a few days later. Show solidity in defence and the same constant threat from the left-flank as they do when Alba plays, and Luis Enrique’s decision will be vindicated as one taken on a purely footballing basis, for the better of the team. Forbes list reveals how much Mayweather, Ronaldo and Messi earned this decade Luis Enrique was appointed Spain manager in July A versatile, combative attacker with an eye for goal and a temper to match. As a player Luis Enrique was the kind of footballer who you walk to the end of the Earth with if he was on your team, but despised to an equal degree if he wasn’t.As a coach a similar dichotomy can be seen. If he thinks his team are being unjustly criticised, Enrique will defend his players to the death with plenty of that aforementioned fire and fury. Once he thinks you aren’t on his team however, the drop can be sudden, and harsh. Most popular football news Every time Ally McCoist lost it on air in 2019, including funny XI reactions 3 How the Premier League table could change after the Boxing Day fixtures 3 The pair have worked together before when the manager was in charge of Barcelona