HSDU says no discrepancy in purchase of hydroclave but…$240M facility now costs $207M – Keith Burrowes
The Health Sector Development Unit (HSDU) is contending that there is no discrepancy in the cost of the Georgetown Public Hospital’s (GPHC’s) hydroclave system which was approved by the World Bank and the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB – Guyana).
Executive Director of the Unit, Keith Burrowes, in a statement, said that the figures are consistent with costs provided by the named supplier – Johs Grams-Hanssen A/S of Denmark. That company put in a bid of US$949,579.
The rejected tender was put in by SEEN Environment of Martinique at US$970,347. On September 29, 2008 notifications of award were sent to both companies.
However, SEEN Environment did not respond to the invitation. As a result the bid went to Johs Grams-Hanssen with an additional amount of US$36,972 which was approved by Cabinet on March 17, 2009 after the World Bank on February 20, 2009 respectively.
The total amount which also included an additional G$15 million subsequently given to GPHC to complete the project (including a shed to accommodate the hydroclave system) added up to US$1,023,836, or $206,814,958, according to Mr. Keith Burrowes.
The equipment in question was procured in 2008 through the World Bank-funded HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Project, based on clearly-specified technical criteria.
This included one steam autoclave with accessories, a shredder, one compactor and a vehicle and Installation and Commissioning of the AutoClave.
Kaieteur News had sought a quote for a similar piece of equipment. However, Burrowes said that costs related to ‘certification’ and ‘spares’ were not included in the quote submitted to HSDU and there were greater and lesser prices quoted for specific items.
Additionally, he said a total of $15M was given to the hospital to facilitate works related to the construction and installation of the said equipment
He said that tenders were advertised both locally and overseas and saw the receipt of two of the seven potential bidders. GPHC’s Chief Executive Officer, Michael Khan, had said initially that the Hydroclave facility and waste collection truck cost a whopping $300M (US$1.5M). He was responding to queries on the project. This figure was supported by Burrowes.
However, both men later said that their figure was an estimate.
When GPHC issued its first statement it distanced itself from the purchasing of the Hydroclave System and waste collection truck.
The hospital had disclosed that the bid by the company awarded the contract for the truck and complete Hydroclave system was US$949,579, which left an unexplained sum of US$250,421 from the total which Burrowes had told to Kaieteur News.
Over the weekend, Mr Burrowes provided details of the project, including the $15 million given to GPHC to help construct a shed.
Since then Burrowes has recanted his statement on the amount of money spent on the Hydroclave. He said that the project stemmed from a US$10 million grant for Guyana’s HIV programme.
A special appeal was made to the World Bank. In the end, the installation was done by the Georgetown Public Hospital.
Khan later adjusted the figure he had initially provided. According to the Chief Executive Officer, the $60M he quoted at the outset was actually $21M. Khan insisted that there was no intent by the hospital to mislead or misrepresent the facts involved in the Hydroclave waste disposal matter.
Khan for the first time, then said that $15M was provided by the Health Sector Development Unit (HSDU), an arm of the Ministry of Health. This was for the construction of the Hydroclave holding facility. The hospital maintained that the actual procurement of the Hydroclave system was handled by HSDU.
“The actual total cost for the completion of works to the facility was close to $21M, the difference (of approximately $6M) was funded by the Government of Guyana.
“The cost of the facility was inaccurately quoted as $60M during a telephone interview with a Kaieteur News reporter. The CEO, without reservations, admits to having misquoted the cost to have the facility constructed… giving a figure of G$60M, with the figure of $16M in mind…
“It is also noteworthy that the reporter was informed that the information being provided to her was in fact not concrete but an approximation,” GPHC said in the statement.
After sending the contract to SEEN Environment and several reminders, a decision was taken to terminate this company’s contract on January 22, 2009 for non-signature of the said contract.
As a result of this termination and given the fact that they were only two bidders, the number one tender was recommended to be awarded the contract for the supply and delivery of all of the items required.