– as MP lambastes Govt for mismanagement of projectsThe second day of the Budget 2019 debates kicked off on Tuesday with Opposition Member of Parliament (MP), Dr Frank Anthony taking the Government to task for breaches to the procurement laws, the shady deals it has been entering and wastage of taxpayers’ dollars.Opposition MP Frank AnthonyIn his presentation, Dr Anthony noted that Guyana has not been getting value for money. He pointed to the Auditor General’s 2017 report, which found 13 contracts totalling $91.4 million were awarded by the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB) to Caribbean Medical Supplies.These contracts did not go through a competitive process. According to the Auditor General, these contracts were single-sourced. While attached documentation states that the supplier was the authorised distributor for the goods, it could not be ascertained whether they had the exclusive rights.The controversial Sussex Street contract, which was single sourced, did not escape Anthony’s wrathIn light of this, the Auditor General noted he could not determine whether there were other suppliers that the Ministry could have used to source the goods. Dr Anthony noted that, “The Ministry was guilty of single sourcing! Single sourcing can lead to higher prices for the items because the vendor has a monopoly. How much extra has been paid? Conservative estimates show that it has been in the millions.”“There are other flagrant breaches of the procurement law, such as contracts valued at $278.5 million awarded without bid security. And that can be found in the Auditor General report. There was another case of single sourcing of drugs worth $104 million. But this one has a twist. Six contracts were awarded without the approval of the NPTAB. The tender board was asked to rubber stamp the transaction after supplies were delivered”, he further stated.The MP also cited cases of contract splitting and mismanagement of projects, such as the construction of the Public Health Ministry headquarters. Here he referenced the Auditor General’s report on the project being delayed.Drug shortagesDr Anthony also condemned what he deemed a “failed system” and noted that in the three years since the coalition Government took office, drug shortages at Guyana’s medical institutions, coupled with several other pressing matters, have become a norm.“Anyone who has recently utilised the health system can attest to its failings! Long waiting times at the outpatient clinics (and) longer waiting times for surgery. Unavailability of diagnostic tests; constant shortages of drugs have plagued the system!”“As if this is not enough, admission to the [Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation] GPHC is like a lottery. Patients have to hope that when they get sick and go there, there is a bed that is available. In some cases, people have to wait for days on end to get a bed,” Anthony stated in a speech that was at times accompanied by remonstrations from the Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr Barton Scotland, against Government Ministers who tried to shout him down.Further, Dr Anthony noted that Government recently announced that a shortage of drug resistant tuberculosis (TB) medication has since been fixed. However, he noted that the Government failed to explain how such a shortage came about in the first place.“Yesterday Minister (within the Public Health Ministry, Dr Karen) Cummings confirmed the (reports). But what she did not tell us was the reason why we have multiple drug resistant TB drugs in Guyana.”“The experts would tell you that it develops because of programme failure… because they have been out of critical drugs and inadequate monitoring, poor compliance and patient poverty… Many of these patients are too ill to work and with the paltry sum set aside for public assistance, it is hardly enough for them to survive.”Government in a statement after procuring the drugs had blamed the shortage on a delay, revealing that the said drugs are sourced from South Korea, Japan India and Cyprus, through the Global Drug Facility.
Carli Lloyd enjoyed the game of her life as the United States beat Japan 5-2 to win the Women’s World Cup.Barely 15 minutes had elapsed when Lloyd put the USA 4-0 up, completing her World Cup final hat-trick with a goal from the halfway line – a career peak surely beyond the dreams of any player, male or female.Lauren Holiday had volleyed the third and though Japan pulled one back through Yuki Ogimi and another when Julie Johnston put through her own goal, Tobin Heath’s goal quickly eased any doubts over the result.Jill Ellis’ side thus avenged their defeat in the 2011 final between these sides, to the delight of the majority of the 53,341 crowd in Vancouver.The Americans took the lead with the first attack of note, Megan Rapinoe drilling in a low corner towards the penalty spot where Lloyd, having timed her run perfectly across Azusa Iwashimizu, diverted the ball home to score for the fourth game in succession.And it was clearly a tactical plan as two minutes later, Holiday sent in a low free-kick which bobbled off defenders on the six-yard line for Lloyd to poke in.It was 3-0 inside the first quarter-hour as the shell-shocked Iwashimizu, having lost Lloyd at both set-pieces, misjudged a clearance horribly and Holiday finished with a fine volley.But that classy finish went all but unnoticed as just over a minute later, Lloyd let fly from 60 yards and keeper Ayumi Kaihori back-pedalled, stumbled and could only touch the ball onto the inside of the post before it nestled in the net.Improbably, it almost got even better for Lloyd moments later as she headed Meghan Klingenberg’s cross just wide, before Mizuho Sakaguchi finally had Japan’s first effort on goal.They at least managed to pull a goal back, Nahomi Kawasumi crossing from the right to Ogimi, who turned Johnston superbly and finished inside the far post.They went close to a second when Shinobu Ohno pulled the ball back but Aya Miyama could not beat Hope Solo from the edge of the box.Japan coach Norio Sasaki put Iwashimizu out of her misery in the 33rd minute as Homare Sawa came on to win the 205th cap of her illustrious career – and made a second change before the interval, bringing on Yuika Sugasawa for Kawasumi.Kaihori did well to take Rapinoe’s corner with Lloyd again closing in and limit the damage to 4-1 at half-time.Lloyd’s mishit cross just cleared the crossbar and Kaihori tipped Morgan Brian’s 25-yard drive over – but Japan had hope seven minutes after the interval when Aya Miyama’s free-kick from a deep position glanced off the head of Johnston, wrong-footing keeper Hope Solo for an unfortunate own goal.It was quickly snuffed out, though, as another Rapinoe corner was not dealt with and Brian set up Heath to finish from six yards.Mana Iwabuchi replaced Ohno in Japan’s final substitution on the hour before Kelley O’Hara, a scorer in USA’s semi-final win over Germany, replaced Rapinoe.Japan’s Rumi Utsugi went close with a long-range volley before Alex Morgan shot just wide at the other end.Iwabuchi’s loose touch allowed Johnston to get a challenge in, and the same attacker then saw a header comfortably saved.There were farewell World Cup appearances for veteran US stars Abby Wambach and Christie Rampone before American celebrations rang around BC Place at the final whistle.Lloyd was named as player of the tournament ahead of France’s Amandine Henry, with Miyama third on a shortlist of eight which featured England’s Lucy Bronze.Solo took the Golden Gloves as best goalkeeper, Lloyd collected the silver ball as runner-up to top scorer Celia Sasic of Germany while Canada defender Kadeisha Buchanan was the young player of the tournament.In FIFA president Sepp Blatter’s absence the global governing body was represented at the presentation ceremony by Cameroonian delegate Issa Hayatou.The States formed a guard of honour for their opponents to collect their medals before squad captain Rampone, after her 308th and last international appearance, donned the armband to lift the trophy alongside Wambach.