Sep 18, 2011 News
-bids not opened by National Tender Board
The controversial high-priced $69M Corriverton branch of the National Insurance Scheme was not awarded by the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB).
The contract was awarded by NIS.
It is still unclear if it was placed to tender with NIS making an assessment and then awarding the contract according to established procurement practices or whether Fyffe Building and Contracting Works was just handed the job.
That semi-autonomous body has not acceded or responded to Kaieteur News’ requests for more information or a challenge to have a post-construction audit done to clear up any misgivings how the $69M was spent.
Officials of NPTAB confirmed last week that it did not open the bid and noted that NIS like the Guyana Sugar Corporation, is a semi-autonomous agency which controls its ‘own’ finances and therefore allowed to conduct its own procurement.
The exceptions are when contracts using financing from overseas donors are used and Government has negotiated those finances. The NPTAB then has to deal with the bid opening and awarding the contracts.
There have been numerous questions about how the large sum of money was spent. Over the past days, the newspaper has been publishing photographs of sections of the NIS Corriverton branch and highlighting some of the questionable costs contained in an Engineer’s Estimate.
That Engineer’s Estimate for the construction was just over $50M. That is the only document, the management of NIS and government have released on the costs.
There are several questionable estimated costs with a generator hut costing almost $2.7M and a public toilet -$2.8M.
And there are more. According to the Bill of Quantities described as “Rainwater Goods and Cold Water Distribution”, plumbing for five toilets, toilet sets, face sinks, gutters and three Tuff Tanks and gutter works all came up to an astounding$1,377,300.
The Tuff Tanks, costing an average of $30,000, were listed at $60,000 each.
One toilet set was estimated at $55,000 with the five adding up to $275,000.
Gutters and downpipes for the 40 feet by 60 feet building alone were estimated to cost almost $400,000.
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 September 5th, 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.
Government, who commissioned that Corriverton facility late last month, said that the completed structure cost NIS $69M.
In light of the many questions, Kaieteur News had offered to conduct an on-site post-construction audit to determine whether the $69M was well spent.
The newspaper has also asked for a copy of the engineering drawings, which was never provided by the government and copy of the payment certificates detailing the work completed that was paid for.
There has not been a response as yet from government.
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