Lawrence promises to halt rental of controversial drug bond by December 2018

first_imgAfter doling out $264 million on the Sussex Street bond, Public Health Minister Volda Lawrence has announced Government will halt the rental of that Charlestown facility owned by Linden Holdings Inc by the end of 2018.Lawrence, in 2017, had promised that the rental of the Sussex street drug bond would be no more by the end of that year. The bond is currently being rented by the Ministry to house a CT Scanning machine.According to Lawrence, the expensive piece of equipment requires stringent specifications for storage and, according to the Minister, the bond fits these requirements.The machine is to be sent to the Bartica Regional Hospital upon completion of a building to install the equipment. This building at Bartica is currently under construction and will be completed shortly.“As soon as they (the regional authorities give us clearance that the room is ready,Public Health Minister Volda Lawrencewe are ready to remove that CT scanner to Bartica and give up that bond. As a matter of fact, I am on record saying that as of the December 31, 2018, the Ministry of Public Health will not be renting any more bonds,” Minister Lawrence explained.Lawrence noted that the Ministry has budgeted for the construction of a drug bond in Kingston, Georgetown, while expansion work on the Diamond bond is underway, while outlining that the Ministry’s adoption of a new procurement system for drugs and medical supplies will require them to have adequate, specified and suitable spaces for the storage of these supplies.The Health Minister’s utterances comes on the heels of the revelation made in National Assembly, in response to questions on notice from the parliamentary Opposition, that the State has paid out over $264 million in rental fees.In the response tabled in the National Assembly during Monday’s sitting, Lawrence stated that from July 2016 to March 2018, the sum of $264.5 million was paid to Linden Holdings Incorporated.This company is linked to local businessman Larry Singh, a People’s National Congress (PNC) financier.When it comes to action being taken to end the arrangement, Lawrence revealed that a Notice of Quit dated October 31, 2016, was sent by the then Permanent Secretary of the Public Health Ministry, Trevor Thomas.Further, current Permanent Secretary Colette Adams had sent a reminder dated October 3, 2017. There is no mention of the company’s response to these notices. As of March, it is understood that the bond was still being rented.The transaction first came to light in 2016 during consideration of Financial Papers, when it was discovered that Government had in fact entered a contract to pay a VAT-excluded $12.5 million monthly rental to Linden Holdings Inc for the storage of drugs and medical supplies.It was also discovered that $25 million was already spent as a security deposit, in addition to $12.5 million, representing monthly rentals from August to DecemberThe Sussex Street drugs bond2016. The sums were paid to the Linden Holdings Inc.The criticisms that erupted after the scandal that occurred under then Health Minister, Dr George Norton, led President David Granger to set up a Cabinet sub-committee to investigate the matter and make recommendations.That committee which comprised Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman as the Chairman; Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo and Minister of State Joseph Harmon concluded that the contract should be terminated or re-negotiated, since a similar facility could have been found at a cheaper rate.During the debate on the 2017 Budget in December 2016, a parliamentary delegation accompanied by the media visited the bond and found condoms, lubricants and some unused refrigerators, but no pharmaceuticals and medical supplies.The parliamentary Opposition has since formally requested that the Public Procurement Commission investigate the transaction.It has since been reported in the media that the expensive CT-scanner that the Minister is referring to is worth approximately $1.8 million, while the monthly rent of the bond exceeds $12 million.last_img read more

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Book

first_imgThe Discovery Institute in Seattle has published a new book, Darwinism, Design and Public Education, by John Angus Campbell and Stephen C. Meyer, encouraging schools to teach both sides of the controversy over Darwinism vs Intelligent Design.The Darwin Party’s spin doctoring that students should be protected from the controversy over Darwinism is unpopular and unsupportable, and should be exposed for what it is: political and religious bias.  If it were about science, well then, science thrives on controversy.  Science is about pitting evidence against evidence and logic against logic.  Wouldn’t that be a healthy science lesson?  Read this testimony and see what you think.(Visited 5 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img

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Land claims ‘could be settled by 2011’

first_img“We have to note that these outstanding claims are difficult to settle as a result of the nature of the challenges that affects the claims, such as opposition from some of the land owners who are disputing the validity of the claims, exorbitant land prices, claims that have been referred to the land claims court, family disputes, as well as boundary disputes involving traditional leaders,” Mphela explained. “This has benefited 289 937 households and about 1.4-million individuals across the country,” Mphela told a media briefing in Polokwane in Limpopo province this week, adding that by the end of June the government had allocated over R16-billion for all settled land claims. Since its establishment in 1994, South Africa’s Commission on Restitution of Land Rights has settled 74 808 out of 79 696 land claims lodged at a cost of R16-billion. Acting chief land claims commissioner Blessing Mphela says all outstanding claims could be settled by 2011. “For land to be productive, it requires the full participation of relevant role players from the public and private sector,” Mphela said. “If the processes are not aligned, including the alignment of white agriculture and emerging black farmers, then we will have a problem.” While earlier indicating that it would take at least another five years to settle the outstanding claims, Mphela this week said that the commission was committed to settling the remaining 4 888 outstanding claims by 2011. He said that in June alone, 2 621 households had received back 81 050 hectares of land worth R186-million as part of the commission’s efforts to fast track the delivery of land in commemoration of the 95th anniversary of the promulgation of the Native Land Act of 1913. The Land Claims Commission was initially given a 2005 deadline to settle all the claims, but the deadline was initially extended to December 2008, and now to 2011. In addition, the commission has asked Cabinet for an additional R18-billion to settle the outstanding claims, while also urging the Department of Agriculture to have a mechanism that links new land owners to all services and infrastructure available to larger commercial farmers.center_img Source: BuaNews “The dual role of investigating and settling claims on the one hand, and providing development support on the other hand coupled with the nature of challenges that we have encountered along the way, has had a negative impact on the commission’s ability to finalise the settlement of restitution claims within the timeframe earmarked initially for that purpose,” he said. 1 August 2008 He said one of the challenges encountered in providing settlement support relates to the issue of governance and institutional support from other government structures. Development support He pointed out that the commission had stepped in to fulfil the function of the beleaguered Land Bank in providing post-settlement support to emerging farmers had resulted in the commission’s resources being thinly spread.last_img read more

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Deal Site Groupon Launches G-Team, Campaigns for Local Causes

first_imgPopular group-buying daily deal site Groupon has gone back to its roots with the launch of an initiative called “G-Team,” which harnesses the collective consumer power that has made Groupon such a success, in order to connect users to local fundraisers, campaigns and other charitable causes. The causes will be tied to the deals posted to Groupon so as to attract like-minded shoppers with community organizations whose campaigns they may be interested in. For example, a deal on canoe rentals might be tied to a campaign to clean up a river, a deal on bike tuneups might be linked to a campaign to donate bicycles to disadvantaged youth and so on.G-Team: Campaigns for Charity or Just for FunBut G-Team campaigns don’t necessarily have to be focused on charity: they can be used for fun too, like organizing a flash mob or rounding up Groupon shoppers to use their coupon together on the same night at a particular venue. Although the G-Team initiative was announced over a month ago, there has been little media coverage so far, likely due to its staged rollout. Initially, G-Team is only available as a pilot program in Chicago, but Groupon says it plans on bringing the program to more cities in the future.The first campaign, just announced via Twitter and now available here, is raising money to support a local theater organization. sarah perez Groupon’s Roots are in Community Organization Many of Groupon’s users may not realize that initiatives like these actually served as the roots of what became the discount shopping experience that’s now practically a household name. According to the Groupon website, the organization grew out of a website called The Point, launched in 2007, which lets anyone start a campaign, but delays action until enough people have committed to the project. That same philosophy of collective power was later applied to what became Groupon, a site that offers a daily deal that’s only available once enough people join that day. With the G-Team campaigns, now hosted on The Point’s site, there will be a “tipping point” that will need to be reached before action is taken. And anyone can apply for one of these Groupon campaign sponsorships, either as an individual or a representative from a non-profit or other local grassroots organization. Explains Patty Huber, community manager for both The Point and Groupon, “First, we’ll help you create a campaign page on The Point. Next, we’ll develop a partnership with a Groupon merchant who will help support your campaign. Then, we’ll promote your campaign along with the merchant’s daily deal to our huge subscriber base.” G-Team campaigns, says Huber, are designed to benefit local communities, run for a limited period of time (usually a day), support causes that resonate with subscribers, aid specific projects and are organized around a “compelling story.” If you or your organization wants to be considered for sponsorship, the online application is available here. 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostingcenter_img A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts Tags:#crowdsourcing#Non-Profits#web Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…last_img read more

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