How NIS Berbice branch cost $69M …
• There was this $3M generator hut
-KNews willing to pay for a post construction audit
Amidst growing questions over the overpriced cost of constructing a Berbice branch of the National Insurance Scheme (NIS), official documents provided by Government have now revealed that a staggering $2.6M was estimated for a small generator hut in the compound.
The figures were included in an official Engineer’s Estimate reportedly prepared by NIS on what it would cost to build the one-flat office at Corriverton and other works related to the construction. That generator hut was part of the works.
The generator hut, which is approximately 10 feet high, eight feet wide and eight feet long, consists of walls fashioned out of cement blocks, four steps, two handrails and a grill gate.
According to one engineer, it is unclear how the $2.6M figure for the generator hut was calculated since no general dimension of the structure was indicated in the Bill of Quantities which stated that the exact location and size of the hut was to be determined later on the work site.
Yet, in the same Engineer’s Estimate, the height of the hut’s columns was proposed to be 15 feet.
Another curiosity, said the engineer the newspaper spoke to, was that the sum of $144,000 provisioned for the pouring of roof slab, floor and platform slabs, stairs and an oil drain. Yet that very same Bill of Quantities contains a later item that provides a sum of $120,000 for the “construction of concrete stairs for the entrance to the generator hut.”
There are other curiosities and the newspaper has decided to publish that section of the Engineer’s Estimate that has to do with the generator hut as well as images of the completed structure so that readers may judge for themselves.
It will be recalled that following the announcement that the NIS branch cost $69M and the subsequent questions that arose, Kaieteur News published pictures of three homes which were built for staffers and which cost less than $7M each.
The newspaper had requested from Head of the Presidential Secretariat and NIS’ Chairman, Dr. Roger Luncheon, the details of the costs of that $69M facility.
Dr. Luncheon, in turn, requested that the newspaper provide the Bills of Quantities for these homes.
The newspaper and the Office of the President then exchanged documents with the latter providing the Engineer’s Estimate for the NIS Building.
On Tuesday, media workers including Kaieteur News Publisher Glenn Lall and Editor-in-Chief Adam Harris were both refused entry to that Corriverton branch.
The security on recognizing the newsmen immediately shut the gates and later disclosed that NIS’ General Manager, Doreen Nelson, had ordered that they be kept out.
The Branch Manager, Louise Bryan, was seen hiding at the back of the NIS building.
The Engineer’s Estimate for the entire project was $50,667,948. Based on this estimate, tenders later went out for local contracting firms to submit bids.
Government, who commissioned that Corriverton facility late last month, said that the completed structure cost NIS $69M.
According to Lall, in an effort to fulfill the newspaper’s mandate to keep the people of Guyana informed, Kaieteur News is seeking permission to carry out an onsite investigation as part of a post construction audit of the structure in order to have a better understanding of how the peoples’ money was spent, on this project.
In order to facilitate this post construction audit, the following data is being requested:
1. Copy of the engineering drawings.
2. Copy of the bid document of the contractor that won the bid and executed the project.
3. Copy of payment certificates detailing the work completed that was paid for.
The cost for this venture shall be funded completely by Kaieteur News if Government agrees.