Basseterre, St. Kitts – A new Procurement Act is expected in St. Kitts and Nevis in 2024, to protect the Government Treasury from mismanagement that Attorney-General (AG) the Honourable Garth Wilkin said occurred between 2015 and 2022.
One such case of past mismanagement mentioned by the attorney-general during the 2024 Budget Debate on December 18, 2023, saw the payment of US $2 million or EC $5.4 million to one man over an 18-month period by the St. Kitts Electricity Corporation (SKELEC) Ltd.
“It won’t happen again. Persons will have to bid for that,” said Honourable Wilkin. “We need procurement Madam Speaker, because you know what procurement will help that.”
He noted that bad practices continue to come to light and are placed on his desk.
The attorney-general referenced the recent upgrade of the apron at the R. L. Bradshaw International Airport which Tourism Minister, the Honourable Marsha Henderson, said was delivered on time and within budget.
AG Wilkin said that this was a clear demonstration of competent leadership by authorities and responsible contractors.
“We have decent contractors throughout the country, why shouldn’t they get an opportunity to bid on projects from SKELEC? Why must one person get, in 18 months, $5.4 million in projects?” he questioned.
The attorney-general expressed that the government, led by the Prime Minister the Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew, will insist on getting value for money and this will be reinforced by a strong Procurement Act.
The draft legislation is expected to be brought early in 2024.