One engineering firm has bid some $170M to undertake the installation of street lights along certain sections of the Corentyne Highway.
The project would have been advertised several weeks ago allowing interested agencies to submit sealed bids. Yesterday morning all of those sealed bids were opened by the staff of the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board.
The Project to install streetlights has been divided into lots. Lot One covers the installation from New Amsterdam to Palmyra, Lot Two covers Fryish to Tain and Lot Three reaches from Stockholm, Corriverton to Crabwood Creek.
There were three firms in competition for the three lots, these were Cummings Electrical Ltd, Bardon’s Construction Services Ltd and DIPCON Engineering Services Ltd. Although each company submitted bids separately for each Lot, the totals are as follows:
Cumming’s Electrical Ltd. – $71,778,146
Bardon’s Construction Services Ltd – $79,778,275
DIPCON Engineering Services Ltd – $170,314,674
Meanwhile the Engineer’s Estimate for this project which is prepared for all public works and construction projects was read off at a total of $125,007,683
The project is one of many for which funding was not included in the 2010 budget but is listed instead on the Financial Supplementary Papers of 2010. The additions to the budget were highly criticized by opposition MPs who contended that these projects should not be undertaken with Supplementary funds since they did not meet the necessary criteria.
Under Section 41 (3) of the Fiscal Management and Accountability Act it says that the Finance Minister, who is the sole authority to do so, may make such withdrawals, “when satisfied that an urgent, unavoidable and unforeseen need for expenditure has arisen” and continues to list other conditions.
The MPs were strongly against passing the Supplementary Provisions since of the almost $2.5B requested more than $1.5B was destined for the Ministry of Public Works for the construction of “miscellaneous roads.”
There were also a number of other agencies whose projects and ‘invitations to supply’ called for bids to be opened yesterday as well. These included the supply of vehicles – specifically motorcycles – for the Ministry of Agriculture and a Ministry of Local Government project in Region Six that will see the rehabilitation of three streets in the Skeldon/Corentyne area.
Bids for the Rehabilitation of the Cove and John Ashram were also opened yesterday morning. This TIVET project called for restrictive tendering giving small contractors the opportunity to undertake the project. There were eight bids of which the lowest bid was $7,145,507 while the highest was $12,428,064. Meanwhile the Engineer’s Estimate for the project was $10,752,662.
Dramatic increase in child abuse for first quarter
For the first quarter of this year, there were 1015 reported incidents of child abuse, involving 901 victims, with 60% of them being girls. These unsettling figures were provided by the Statistical Unit of the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security.
According to the report, the fact that girls are being abused more than boys is consistent with the previous year. The most common form of abuse was neglect (50%), with physical (20%) and sexual abuse (15%) also at disturbing levels.
In 2009, for the same period, there were 303 child abuse cases, with the report confirming a 197 per cent increase this year.
Most of the cases in the first quarter of 2010 were recorded in region four (496), which accounts for 55 per cent of the 901 victims. Other regions where there were a significant number of reports: region six (21%), region three (10%) and region five, 9 per cent.
The report further revealed that the most prevalent perpetrators were mothers and fathers – responsible for 41% and 28% respectively – a worrying development, since these are the persons most expected to protect children.
According to social services, there is an urgent need for sensitization of parents and other caretakers on the rights of children, parenting skills and their responsibilities towards children.
Data indicates that of the 901 abused children, 37 per cent were of African descent, East Indians accounted for 35%, and Mixed (23%) – reportedly a similar trend to 2009 in the same quarter.
According to the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security, 79% of the victims were counseled.
The report stated that out of 133 children, 45% were placed with family/relatives, while 43% were placed in a residential care facility and 12% went to foster care.
It must be noted that there was not a Child Protection Agency in the past, thus there had been no effective means to compile such important statistics. The present-day existence of an agency means that many more persons are able to call and visit the facility to enquire about ways in which they can receive assistance.
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