The move to have greater autonomy for sub-agencies of the Ministry of Finance was highlighted by Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan, today.
Local contractors will have to improve their standards as Government moves to ensure value for money. Part of the effort to achieve this will see the formation of a de-barring committee. This was revealed by Minister Jordan today at his year-end press conference, at his Ministry’s boardroom. Minister Jordan explained, “It is provided for in the Act. It is meant to de-bar firms and individuals who have been non-compliant or have ran afoul of the Procurement Act.”
The Kato Secondary School Complex, Region Eight
For years there have been criticisms of contractors who have done what can only be described as sub-standard works in communities across Guyana. Some of these have resulted in millions of dollars of losses for Government as many projects which include roads, wharfs, schools and bridges had to be repaired or corrected soon after being completed.
A recent example is the billion dollar Kato Secondary School which is long overdue. Remedial works for the construction of the School in Region 8 could cost in excess of $140M, according to representatives of the auditing company, Rodrigues Architects Limited. Another example is the $350M East Demerara Water Conservancy (EDWC) Northern Relief Channel Public Road Bridge at Hope, East Coast Demerara in Region 4. Reports indicate that both approaches (east and west) have begun to sink causing a “depression” which results in a sudden rise and ending in an abrupt drop.
A third example is the High Street Georgetown building, originally earmarked to be used by the Ministry of Social Services. It too was found to be poorly constructed and needs a large sum of money to correct technical faults.
The de-barring committee will be put in place early in the new year. The Finance Minister pointed out that this committee will further add to the transparency and accountability being improved with the formation of the Public Procurement Committee and the Bid Protest Committee. These two entities have resulted in greater scrutiny of the Tender Board, Minister Jordan said and contribute to what the country’s top financial official termed as an end to, “back room deals in Robb Street.”