The United Progressive Party Expresses Concerns About Equity in Vendor Selection for Small Island Developing States Conference


REAL NEWS: Antigua and Barbuda reportedly will host over 5,000 delegates to the largest business meeting ever hosted by this country – the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) conference – in May 2024.

However, the United Progressive Party (UPP) is concerned that the Browne Administration will not undertake a tendering process that is fair to local vendors whose services will be needed for hosting the event.

Public Relations Officer Damani Tabor says the UPP welcomes the conference being hosted here, but there must be equity in the selection of service providers.

It should not be the usual “friend-and-party” way of doing business, he warns, as the UPP will not support such discrimination.

Tabor acknowledges that significant economic benefits can be derived from hosting this event, but these, too, must be shared equitably, he says.

Meanwhile, for the conference to be successful, he says there will need to be proper planning in order to avoid international embarrassment.

According to the Cabinet, the American University of Antigua (AUA) is constructing a conference centre that will comfortably accommodate 1,500 delegates from 193 United Nations member- states, officials, interpreters, conference personnel, and members of
the media.

The Cabinet Notes claim that more than 86 buses and 50 cars will transport presidents, prime ministers, and ministerial heads of delegation from the airport to their hotels, and to the conference centre and back.

To successfully host such a massive conference, a budget of US$6 million is needed, the Executive claims, but most of it will be contributed by sources other than the Treasury of Antigua and
Barbuda, the Cabinet says.

According to Tabor, there is need for comprehensive support for this

Therefore, he is suggesting that a bipartisan parliamentary committee, as well as experts from the community, be pulled together to make sure the event is successful and every benefit is maximized.

Last week, November 8, Antigua and Barbuda’s ambassador to the United Nations, along with three other officials, met with the Cabinet to discuss plans for hosting the SIDS conference.

The event will run from May 27 to 30.

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  1. Certainly we will exclude a particular company from picking up trash or death dogs. And we will also exclude a particular events company that is known for having overcharged the government on the past for rental of tents, chairs and cutlery.
    But the UPP’s concern is not even grounded in any known government policy in the past. But certainly we can say that of the UPP that during their tenure nothing went to the Tender’s Board. And many of the ministers where in fact in collusion with the ethics of their job. One should remember how many of them had trucks and backhoes and excavators that only worked on government projects. That is how they used to fill heir pockets. And we found out about this death dogs story only lately. $500 per dog. And the arrears ended up in the millions of dollars. What a lucrative business right under the nose of the minister. And this was able to happen because the ABLP does not micro-managed the various departments. But I tell them it’s about time they start to do that. Because when things go wrong the blame falls on them

    • You can still get paid without being dishonest, or maybe that’s a requirement for acceptance into the cartel. There Ministry of Health hasn’t got a Board and we know who calls the shots, singlehandedly. NERO runs the government from Rum Shop and only then WE know of decisions to do whatever he likes. Cabinet meetings are typically private parties because all decisions have already been made by him without the involvement of the other members. We just recently witnessed the forced resignations of two public servants and the firing of two others even though the respective establishments are governed by BOARDS. Just practice to speak the truth; you don’t have to be a MAX or NERO to survive, but then, maybe to get along.

      • @Rovi November 16, 2023 At 3:30 pm
        Sometimes I feel so sad when I hear you guys making certain comments and I wonder where the hell your brains are.
        First thing. Whenever anything goes wrong in a government department or a staturory or State Owned Enterprise, you guys are quick to blame the minister or the prime minister. I have never heard you guys blaming any public servant for bad performance on the job. Now lets take APUA. We have a water problem and the Cabinet gets the blame of not being able to solve it. They consult with the APUA Management and ask them what is needed. They indicate that they need more RO Plants to bring up production. Note that the production in 2014 was about four million gallons. RO Plants are not on the shelves and have to be ordered a year in advance and are very expensive. Anyway given the urgency of the issue Cabinet bites the bullet and makes the funds available. And yes the production over the years increases from four million to almost eight millions to date. Now they say the problem is the old pipes are not able to withstand the pressure. So government again bites the bullet and provide the funds for a tencher and a loan from ACB for over $100million. Mainwhile the problem keeps on existing. Now as an executive I would have long time send home the entire management team for imcompitent. They are just not able to get the job done. It doesn’t matter how much money the government throws at it. They just do not have it. I’m not an engineer so I do not need to know and I do not even want to know the detail. But when I’m paying someone to get a job done, they better get it done. If not do not waste my time and money. If it was that they were not provided with the tools and money to do the job, then the responsibility would lay with the Cabinet. But we can see that is not the case. Therefore in any company the management have to go. It’s as simple as that. With regards to who is responsible for the management of State Owned Corporations and Statutory Bodies. Well I can tell you for sure that it is not the same as with a board of a private company. Board members of Private Companies carry Fudiciary responsibility, board members of Statutory Corporation DON’T. You cannot hold them accountable for anything. And they serve at the pleasure of the Cabinet. Not just the substantive minister. You should read the laws before you speak. And I want to say the same to that idiot Dr, Hinds of Guyana and Audley Philip in particular, before you go on Twin Islands Media and run your mouth, make yourself familiar with the law. So that you do not speak out of terms and look foolish. Cabinet carries final responsibility of all statutory bodies. The laws have been changed to give Cabinet and the minister that power. Board member appointment can be revoked at any time. They are only there to assist the management and the minister in directing the operation of the company. Nothing else. They cannot go and sign off on loans or what not. Everything has to go to the Cabinet for approval. Therefore a minister as a representative of the Cabinet can go and fire whom he pleases in that company. But because of the collective responsibility clause, he/she will have to have Cabinet Approval. And the Prime Minister is the Chair of Cabinet. The ministers serve at his pleasure. Therefore a decission of the Prime Minister can be considered a decision of Cabinet. Unless the members feel very strongly and withdraw their support for the Prime Minister. And we know when that happens the Government falls and Fresh Elections are called. And what is also very disturbing to me. Our socalled radio hosts have no clue and are not educated on the topics that they interview individuals. And cannot challenge no one. Darren before you are going to speak on a subeject, educate yourself. That is why Burford is so good in what he does. He ensures that he educate himself on the topic and can have a conversation with his guest. Doesn’t matter what the topic is. He does his homework. You should do the same too.
        And the CEO that resigned before she was publicly called out. I think she did the right thing, however her leaking out her letter to the public was a stupid move. Antigua is small and unless she will go into politics with the UPP or DNA I don’t know what will be left for her to do in her country of birth. The PM never called her by name, yet she felt so hurt that she responded the way she did. Too bad. I wonder if someone advised you. Cause had you let them fire you, your bread would have not just butter on it but lots of meat as well.

    • @From The Sideline
      You must be an old person because as is the behaviour of old people you are always harping back to the past. Please talk about things current and going forward no jack?

  2. Sidelines: When a business performs poorly.The person that is in the headlights the CEO.Gaston Browne is the CEO of Antigua and Barbuda as the Prime Minister.Most of what goes on in the Administration ends in his lap.If he cannot take the stresses and the heat that comes with that position.Then,he should get the heck out and throw in his towel.

    • No that is not how it works. Before the CEO gets fired he needs to take the tough decissions and fire the non-oerforming managers forwith. Remember you are as strong as your weakest link. So you must ger rid of those weak links

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