While pressure grows in Guatemala for the contract with APM Terminals to be annulled, the US company American Ports has expressed interest in operating the port.
Following opposition on the part of Congress to the possibility of approving a bill put forward by the executive branch proposing the granting of a direct concession to APM Terminals, now the Comptroller General of Accounts (CGC) has recommended declaring the contract void and starting a new process.
While state officials are happy to delegate their responsibilities to the UN Office for Project Services, the Comptroller of Guatemala has declared that its services are "detrimental to the interests of the state".
The arrival in Central America of the UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS) was hailed by many as a factor that would allow the execution of public works which are very difficult or impossible for state institutions in the region to run, for various reasons ranging from lack of qualified personnel to simple negligence.
The government is considering purchasing food instead of fertilizers for distribution to the public if the projections of drought in the months ahead continue.
According to studies conducted by NASA, this year could see drought conditions similar to those in the last few years, therefore government officials are assessing whether to tenderfoods instead of fertilizers.
In Guatemala economic operators do not have the necessary facilities for access to public information to be used as input for their business decisions.
With the aim of finding out about progress made in the implementation of the Law on Access to Information, Citizen Action, and Transparency International evaluated the performance of websites and the information units during 2013.
The Spanish company Talent Ingeniería, Instalaciones y Servicios S.L., had been awarded the construction of phase 2 of the plant 's wastewater treatment plant area in San Benito, Petén .
The note sent by the Controller General of Accounts (CGC) to the Minister of Environment and Natural Resources , Roxana Sobenes, which recommends cancelling the process reveals " ... that in the review of documents it was determined that the tender does not require the company awarded the conession to show specific evidence of prequalifications for the works and its specialty, which would guarantee its economic and technical capacity to implement the project," noted an article in Prensalibre.com.
The Department of Migration has been authorized to acquire the passport books without a bidding process for a value of up to $3 million.
From a press release published by the Diario de Centro América:
The government has authorized the Ministry of Interior (MINGOB), through the Directorate General of Migration (DGM), under their strict liability, to acquire, without being subject to a tender or quote, 600,000 books for passports.
The Chamber of Industry of Guatemala has requested that Congress approve reforms to laws which prevent or reduce corruption and to punish public officials involved in such acts.
From a press release issued by the Coordinating Committee of Agricultural, Commercial, Industrial and Financial Associations (CACIF):
As part of the site visit scheduled for this day, regarding the evaluation of Guatemala in the Follow-up Mechanism to the Inter-American Convention against Corruption (MESICIC-OAS), the Chamber of Industry of Guatemala (CIG) participated with a presentation on "Cooperation between the private sector and the supervisory bodies in efforts to prevent and combat corruption."
Of the seven areas which are being tendered for exploration in Guatemala, the most interesting are those near the oil areas of Belize, which are already in production.
Against the background of the opening of bids for exploration and extraction of 7 areas defined by the government of Guatemala, an article in Elperiodico.com.gt reports that "Laguna Blanca, Cancuén and El Cedro are the oil areas that have attracted the most interest among investors who will submit their bids tomorrow for the seven places that the Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM) is tendering. Industry sources confirm that interest in Laguna Blanca comes from the fact that its location is close to the oil fields that are in production in Belize. Whereas El Cedro is attractive because it is close to the fields of Rubelsanto, one of the most productive areas in the country. "
The New State Purchases Law would increase the limit in direct purchases from $3,700 to $9,300
Additionally, the Comptroller General of Accounts is proposing that the direct purchase process should be done with a bidding stage. Carlos Menco, head of the Comptroller's Office, told the Periódico of Guatemala that "the proposal is for a bid to be published on the website for such acquisitions, but the competition should not go through the same terms as a tender."
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The Central American Business Council is a London-based organisation which is working to increase significantly the current levels of trade and investment between the UK and Central America.
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