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The establishment of the country’s Learning Channel and a questionable multi-million dollar contract that was granted to broadcast its programmes, is being investigated by Parliamentary Opposition party, the Alliance For Change (AFC).AFC MP, Catherine HughesAFC Member of Parliament Catherine Hughes has written Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand, asking for related information.In the letter dated May 20th, Hughes asked the Minister to provide the National Assembly with a copy of the agreement or contract between the Government of Guyana and Television Guyana Inc. (TVG) pertaining to the use of TVG’s teleport/transmission facilities to broadcast the Learning Channel.TVG is owned by Dr. Ranjisinghi ‘Bobby’ Ramroop, best friend of former President, Bharrat Jagdeo, who has been at the centre of controversy over a number of lucrative government contracts and concessions to his companies.The Opposition has said that the Learning Channel, being broadcast on Channel 80, was launched in April 2011, and since then $3.6M monthly has been paid for TVG to air the programmes. But there seems to be no indication that the government attempted to find out whether any other companies also had the capacity to air the programmes.Government had said that NCN was not interested in the offer by the Learning Channel, also a state company, to transmit the programmes.Hughes, in her letter, requested information on when the tender for the provision of broadcasting services was advertised and in which media.She also asked: “How much money has been paid over to Television Guyana Inc. (TVG) to date for the provision of these services?  What is the duration of this contract/contractual arrangement – yearly, monthly or indefinite?”Dr. Ranjisinghi ‘Bobby’ RamroopThe AFC officials also wanted to know the number of staffers of the Learning Channel and specific information on which communities they are from.“Does the Learning Channel (the Company) possess its own satellite receivers/dishes? If yes, in which geographical location/communities are they located?  If yes,Nike NFL Jerseys China, when were these purchased? From whom were they purchased and at what cost? Would the Honourable Minister provide copies of such purchase agreements?”AFC also demanded answers on the number of antennas in use by the Learning Channel and details of the geographical areas that these are located.There were also questions whether the Learning Channel was utilising equipment of Digicel or  GT&T or “any other network for the broadcast of its programming”.In April,Wholesale NFL Jerseys, Jaipaul Sharma, a Member of Parliament of A Partnership for National Unity (APNU),China Jerseys Wholesale, the largest Opposition bloc in the National Assembly, queried the operations of the Channel.Minister Manickchand later disclosed that TVG was being paid $3.6M.“The Guyana Learning Channel has the use of a teleport that was created at the time of its set-up since there was no other teleport capable of up-linking video signals in existence in Guyana before or since,” Manickchand said in response to questions raised by Sharma.According to the Minister,Cheap Jerseys China, every wireless communication device utilises electro-magnetic spectrum and the Learning Channel has minimised use of the electro-magnetic spectrum by reusing the same channel in different regions of the country such as Channel 3 in New Amsterdam, Lethem, Mabaruma and Ituni; and Channel 10 in Kwakwani, Orealla, Linden and Port Kaituma.She said that for the Learning Channel to send the signal to the satellite, it would have had to set up a commensurate service that would have required an initial capital outlay of US$150,000 plus monthly recurring costs of over $4M in bandwidth rental and associated services.Former President Bharrat JagdeoThe Opposition, based on the Minister’s answer,China Jerseys Cheap, had reportedly said that the entire setup seemed suspicious as there appeared to be insider knowledge, in that the setting up of the teleport system by TVG coincided with that of the Learning Channel.She added that because the Learning Channel’s bandwidth is bundled with the bandwidth of TVG, government was able to negotiate better rates from the satellite operators.In recent years, government contracts and the systems of procurement by government have been coming under severe scrutiny as accusations of corruption became more frequent.The Opposition,Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale, which effectively has a one-seat voting control of the National Assembly, has been calling for tighter accounting systems by government and for the regulatory, Public Procurement Commission, to be established at the soonest to monitor the systems.
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