Government has established a Cabinet Subcommittee to look into small contractors’ involvement in the public procurement system, according to Minister of State Joseph Harmon.Minister of State Joseph HarmonThe subcommittee was established following many concerns raised by the contractors at a recent symposium held by the Ministry of Public Infrastructure (MPI) for new entrants into the pool of prequalified companies that are awarded government contracts.The Minister of State disclosed at the post-Cabinet briefing on Wednesday last that the issue grabbed the attention of Cabinet at its weekly meeting on Tuesday.“It was agreed that every effort would be made to give legitimate support to small contractors, including their involvement in the public procurement process, and in this regard, Cabinet had mandated that a committee headed by Prime Minister (Moses Nagamootoo),” he stated.The other members of the subcommittee include the Ministers of: Legal Affairs, Basil Williams; Public Infrastructure, David Patterson; Business, Dominic Gaskin; Finance, Winston Jordan, and Communities, Ronald Bulkan.Harmon noted that the committee will look at how best small contractors can be incorporated into government’s procurement system.According to the Minister of State, the decision to establish a subcommittee was taken to create a level playing field and for small contractors to be given the opportunities they deserve.He pointed to the reference in the Small Business Act that says that at least 20 per cent of State contracts should be awarded to small contractors.“The question is how do you quantify that; what mechanisms you put in place to guarantee that that happens? So these are things the committee will look at and see how best we can give effect to what is already there in the law,” he outlined.Moreover, the Minister explained that the subcommittee will have to come up with recommendations to be handed over to the subject minister for implementation after approval by Cabinet.However, Harmon noted that Minister David Patterson has already embarked on the process with the recent procurement seminar during which the MPI meaningfully engaged contractors.The symposium provided the opportunity for small and new contractors to learn more on the National Procurement Act and prequalification for contracts as well as how to become compliant with the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA); National Insurance Scheme (NIS); and local insurance.Participants were also enlightened about the bid evaluation process and were made privy to a simulation bid submission. The simulation highlighted the “dos and don’ts” of bid submissions by providing participants with realistic examples.Additionally, focus was placed on informing participants on the contract award process as well as the protest process.Government recently established the ‘Bid Protest Committee’ in an effort to ensure transparency and accountability in the procurement process. This committee allows contractors who are not satisfied with the evaluation to make an objection to the process.One company has already made an objection to the Committee. Cevon’s Waste Management Inc recently filed objections to the award of the $221 million contract to Puran Brothers Inc for the management of the Haags-Bosch Landfill site at Eccles Industris Estate, East Bank Demerara.Puran Bros Inc had emerged the most suitable contractor to maintain the disposal site from a lineup of several bidders and bagged the 12-month contract which was signed last Thursday.
0Shares0000Brazil’s Neymar (L) and Marcelo take part in a training session in Samara, on July 1, on the eve of their Russia 2018 World Cup round of 16 match against Mexico © AFP / Fabrice COFFRINISAMARA, Russian Federation, Jul 2 – Brazil will look to keep their bid for a record sixth World Cup crown on track when they face Mexico on Monday with a quarter-final place at stake after seeing Spain join the list of contenders to be eliminated.Monday’s other last-16 game sees a much-fancied Belgium take on a Japan side who are dreaming of reaching the quarters for the first time after scraping through their group thanks to their fair-play record. While Neymar’s Brazil, and a Belgian outfit inspired by Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku, are both expected to advance, events of the weekend have shown that nothing can be taken for granted.Spain, the 2010 winners, were stunned on Sunday as they lost on penalties to Russia in Moscow, with Igor Akinfeev the hero for the hosts, saving two spot-kicks.Russia won 4-3 in the shoot-out after the tie ended 1-1 at the Luzhniki Stadium, and will now play Croatia in the last eight.Mexico’s players take part to a training session in Samara on July 1, on the eve of their Russia 2018 World Cup round of 16 match against Brazil © AFP / Benjamin CREMELCroatia also won on penalties, defeating Denmark 3-2 in the shoot-out following another 1-1 draw, with Luka Modric having a spot-kick saved late in extra time.They look like serious contenders, while for Spain their elimination is a disaster — they had been considered among the favourites but had their preparations ruined when coach Julen Lopetegui was sensationally sacked on the eve of the tournament.They join 2014 winners Germany, Argentina and European champions Portugal in being knocked out of a competition for which neither Italy nor the Netherlands — two of the great World Cup names — even qualified.Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, the two great individuals of the last decade, have gone home, their hopes of ever winning the World Cup probably over.But Neymar is still dreaming of leading Brazil to glory, and his side take on Mexico in the Volga river port city of Samara (1400 GMT). Coach Tite insists his talisman is now approaching his best form again, four months after undergoing surgery on a fractured foot.“Now, he’s returned to a very high level. He’s played a lot… I told him, and he knows, about the price he’s had to pay to get back to this level,” said Tite.– Can Mexico break curse? –Belgium’s Eden Hazard (front R) watches Vincent Kompany during a team training session in Rostov-on-Don on July 1, on the eve of their Russia 2018 World Cup round of 16 match against Japan © AFP / Filippo MONTEFORTEBrazil will be without left-back Marcelo due to a back problem, so Filipe Luis will take his place against a Mexico side not to be taken lightly.These teams drew 0-0 in the group stage of the last World Cup, and Mexico qualified for the last 16 here at the expense of Germany, beating the holders 1-0 in Moscow in their opening game.Now, ‘El Tri’ are bidding to end the ‘Curse of the Fifth Game’ — they have never made it to the quarter-finals of a World Cup on foreign soil and have suffered six consecutive eliminations in the first knockout round, not managing to reach that fifth game.However, coach Juan Carlos Osorio said he was not concerned about past history.“We don’t talk about that to our players. We spoke about the possibility of coming up against Brazil a few months ago, and here we are,” he said.The winner of that tie will go on to face the winner of Monday’s other game, which sees Belgium meet Japan in Rostov-on-Don (1800 GMT).Japan’s players take part in a training session in Rostov-on-Don on July 1, 2018, on the eve of their Russia 2018 World Cup round of 16 match against Belgium © AFP / Filippo MONTEFORTERoberto Martinez’s dangerous side have lived up to their billing so far, winning all three group games. A host of key players were rested for the 1-0 victory against England, including Hazard, Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne, but they will return here.However, Adnan Januzaj, who scored the winner in that match, has suffered a knee knock in training.This might be the best chance for Belgium’s ‘golden generation’ to win a major trophy after being eliminated in the last eight at the 2014 World Cup and Euro 2016.“This is our time to shine, definitely. We have top players and we play as a group, especially after the win over England,” said Chelsea star Hazard.“It’s in our hands, we need to give everything and see what happens.”Japan reached this stage in controversial manner, by virtue of collecting fewer yellow cards in the group phase than Senegal. They have never won a knockout-round game at the competition.“Maybe Belgium feel the tournament is starting after their three wins, but I’d like to feel we are on a par with them. We have played to our best, but the players have something more to offer,” said coach Akira Nishino.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
BY CATHAL Mac SUIBHNE: They said that they were the team that couldn’t be beaten. We were the team that beat the team that couldn’t be beaten.Those were the immortal words uttered by Pete McGrath as he addressed thousands of Down supporters in Newry after he had masterminded his team to the 1991 All-Ireland title, against the supposedly unbeatable Meath. Those words seem very apt this morning.Twenty-three years on, Jim McGuinness is the master and his Donegal side have beaten the team that couldn’t be beaten. Things were looking ominous early on as a Paul Flynn inspired Dublin looked like they were going to run riot and they raced ahead with a series of excellent points. They never managed to raise a green flag though and that was vital for Donegal to stay in the game. Paul Durcan made a wonderful save from Diarmuid Connolly and that, allied with the introduction of Christy Toye, swung the pendulum towards the green and gold. Toye’s tackle and dispossession on Michael Dara Macauley in the first half was a big moment and got the Donegal support off their seats and got the adrenalin going.The training camp in Enfield last week had many speculating that a new tactical grand plan would be unveiled by McGuinness yet Donegal stuck to what they’ve always done but crucially produced their best ever display under his stewardship. There were slight variations here and there but ‘The System’ is still alive and well and when executed to perfection it is unbeatable.One key tactical variation was the positioning and interchanging of the Glenswilly duo, Michael Murphy and Neil Gallagher. This Dublin team hadn’t been tested all year and it was well documented that they had a suspect full back line but no team had been able to really get at it. This game was billed as Donegal’s defence stopping Dublin’s attack – but McGuinness knew how to turn the tables and attack the Dublin rear guard.He knew if they could create space in behind and get runners in there, there was joy to be had. Murphy was being picked up by Rory O’Carroll while Michael Dara Macauley shadowed big Neil. With the two players constantly changing it meant that O’Carroll often found himself at midfield with Macauley marooned at full back – two players out of position and in unknown territory. It caused confusion in the Dublin defence, generated space and with three goals to show it proved to be a marvellous ploy by Jim. Murphy actually spent more time at full forward yesterday than he has done all year but he still managed his customary tour de force all action display, he was simply everywhere. He nailed a forty yard score when the first half comeback was in full swing just minutes after he had missed a gimmie. His role in the opening goal was crucial – after the first ball didn’t go his way he put in a hit on Michael Fitzsimons with the ball popping up to Colm McFadden who fed Ryan McHugh to finish.It is these types of situations and these types of plays that mark Murphy apart; he can be the typical full forward kicking scores and plundering goals but he can also play any number of roles and make chances out of nothing. The tackle on Fitzsimons was reminiscent of his hit on Conor Gormley in the Ulster semi-final of 2011, which led to a McFadden goal and a Donegal victory. Murphy has now firmly put himself in the frame for the player of the year award – more importantly he will have a chance in three weeks’ time of climbing those famous Hogan Stand steps again.McHugh’s goal capped an amazing few minutes of football from Donegal, scoring an unanswered 1-4 having been five points in arrears. The Dubs were stunned and once Donegal hit the front they never looked back. The Kilcar man was in the right place at the right time again shortly into the second half to finish wonderfully with his hands after Anthony Thompson’s raid down the right wing.Gallagher at midfield was a colossus again yesterday and should collect his second All Star come seasons’ end. Despite coming up against the athleticism of the Dublin midfield, he played his own game, at his own pace and bossed the middle sector – as he did against Cork in the semi-final two years ago.There were towering performances all over the field from Donegal men with many players producing their best when it mattered most. Paddy McGrath was absolutely immense from start to finish, throwing himself into tackles and putting his body on the line. In truth, it’s hard to remember McGrath ever having a bad game for Donegal, going all the way back to the U21 campaign of 2010. Despite the success this team has enjoyed, players like McGrath and Thompson are under-rated by many yet winning teams simply don’t function without players with their selflessness and drive. Karl Lacey went about his business quietly but efficiently yesterday, shutting out the playmaking abilities of Alan Brogan, while the McGee brothers continued the fine form they’ve shown all year. Paddy McBrearty again made a huge contribution off the bench and it will be interesting to see how he is used in the final.It was a day of smiles all round but possibly the biggest grin we saw was that of Colm McFadden after he scored his side’s third goal. He had come into sharp focus in the previews for the game and while his shooting was still quite erratic at times he finished with 1-3 and his effort, work rate and commitment cannot be questioned. For a man playing below his usual standards he has now scored 1-10 over the course of three big championship games against Monaghan, Armagh and Dublin.That third goal put eight points between the teams and Dublin would only get as close as six come the final whistle; Donegal’s game management and cuteness showed in the final straight as they closed the game out. In the last quarter, almost every time Dublin scored a point, there was a Donegal player down looking for attention from the physio and it killed any momentum that the Dubs might have gotten.The role of the Donegal minors in proceedings yesterday cannot be over stated. They were underdogs in their joust with Dublin and even after conceding a needless goal, they showed great heart to get back into the game and get ahead at the finish. As people milled around the bowels of Croke Park between the minor and senior games, you could sense that every Donegal person was walking that little bit taller and it gave huge impetus for what lay ahead for the big one. To have both teams now in action on All-Ireland Final day is the stuff of dreams. There’s a special feeling about winning a semi-final; Donegal had such a wretched record in last four encounters for so long, winning them and realising that your going to be there on the biggest day is hugely satisfying.If there is a downside to what was one of the great days for Donegal football, it was that there was no cup handed out yesterday. It was an incredible display but it will be worth nothing unless the job is completed in three weeks against the Kingdom. The two epic battles with Mayo will have Kerry well primed for an assault on Donegal and despite supposedly being a team in transition, they will present a massive challenge. The crux of Jim’s game plan will revolve around containing Kieran Donaghy and Murphy’s rival for the player of the year award, James O’Donoghue.Yesterday was The Messiah’s finest hour as a coach and he can take his place with the all-time greats with a second All-Ireland later this month. Believe!CATHAL Mac SUIBHNE’S GAA BLOG: INTO THE FINAL AFTER BEATING THE UNBEATABLES was last modified: September 1st, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Cathal Mac SuibhnedonegaldublinGAA blogKerry