Contractors who ‘mess up’ agri projects jump to other sectors
Contractors who “mess up” contracts awarded in the agricultural sector end up with contracts in other sectors, Minister of Agriculture Robert Persaud admitted yesterday as the government struggles to deal with errant contractors.
“…When you ‘brackle’ them, as it were, in drainage and irrigation, they jump to another sector,” Persaud told reporters yesterday.
“If people are going to get value for money, if taxpayers are to get value for money, I think it would be failing in our duty that we sit here and allow people who mess up to continue to get these resources and move forward,” he asserted.
Persaud indicated that contractors who fail to meet the requirements of their contracts could be sidelined for other contracts. He stopped short of saying outright that delinquent contractors would be blacklisted.
“Whilst we are not permitted legally to do so (blacklist), we have taken steps to ensure that in the evaluation process poor performance, non-performance, shoddy performance, whatever performance that did not meet the requirements of the contract (are) noted by the evaluators,” he emphasised.
For last year, four contractors were found wanting in meeting requirements of their contracts for projects under the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority, while another three were cited for projects under other sectors in the ministry.
Asked about the projects, the Minister said these included koker doors, sluices, structures, canals, and repairing facilities.
Questioned about the costs involved, Persaud said: “The contracts range you know – $10 million, $20 million; I can’t remember the specific number, but they range in that vicinity.
There are different projects with different quantities.”
The Minister said that the matter of defaulting contractors is being dealt with at the level of Cabinet.
“We will continue to be very, very vigilant in this regard,” Persaud stated.