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Back off, OCG

Published:Friday | May 4, 2012 | 12:00 AM


Having studied the Contractor General Act, I see nothing wrong with the conduct of Parliament through Works Minister Dr Omar Davies appointing persons other than the contractor general to perform oversight duties. In this context, the contractor general is a servant of Parliament vide Section 4(1) of the act, which says:

Subject to the provisions of this act, it shall be the function of a contractor general, ON BEHALF OF PARLIAMENT (emphasis mine):

(a) to monitor the award and the implementation of government contracts with a view to ensuring that ... .

And further, the contractor general is on contract, and as such, his relation to Parliament is governed by the law of contract of services, which does not preclude the principal, by himself or through other persons, performing duties delegated to the contractor general under his contract unless the contract specifically shows that the contractor general is to operate to the exclusion of all others, which is not the case here. This opinion is buttressed by, for example, Section 4(2) (a), which says, inter alia:

For the purpose of the discharge of his functions under this act, a contractor general shall be entitled:

(a) TO BE ADVISED OF THE AWARD and, where applicable, the variation of any government contract by the public body responsible for such contract. (emphasis mine) It clearly states that awards can be done without the prior involvement of or consultation with the contractor general.

The well-intentioned contractor general should need no reminder that he should respect the action of Parliament always, which as in this case is patently in the public interest, as demonstrated by the honourable minister and has not been contradicted by anyone


Mandeville, Manchester