Work on the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC)’s future location seems to be stalled over a dispute of who should be awarded the contract to carry on the task of rehabilitating the High Street building.
According to information, the GGMC is reviewing bids submitted for the refurbishing of the former Guyana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) building, since the award of the contract to a specific contractor was met with much opposition, allegedly by other bidders.
Kaieteur News understands that the bidding process which commenced in June has put a hold on the work that is to start at the High and Princes Streets location. One of the groups that tendered information for the job challenged the award of the contract, since it was reportedly awarded to the said contractor who had initially “failed the project.”
This is despite also, the challenging group having a lower bid than the awarded contractor. A letter of opposition was sent to the Natural Resources Ministry, and it is alleged that an explanation was sought as to the awarding process and further, the criteria that would have caused the group not to be awarded the High Street contract.
Kaieteur News understands that the GGMC board had made a decision to appoint an evaluation committee to deal with the bidding process.
In a public missive from the GGMC Board of Directors, it was noted that bids were once again invited for civil works to be done at the High Street location. It was noted too, that after Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment Robert Persaud received a complaint letter relating to the award, a meeting was held and a request was made for the Board to review the process.
The missive said that the GGMC continues in its efforts to enhance the conditions, under which its staff operates and had invited bids for Civil Works for its building at High and Princes Streets.
“Further to a letter of protest submitted to the Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment, Honourable Robert Persaud, and following a meeting with the Chairman of the Board of Directors and other officials, a review by the Board was requested before proceeding.
”The submitted bids were evaluated and a recommendation was made to the Board for approval. However, given the nature and scope of the project the Board, at the request of Minister Persaud, is currently reviewing the recommendations and a decision will be forthcoming in the immediate future.”
Early last year it was reported that the mining agency would be moving from its Upper Brickdam location to the former GBC building. However, it was upsetting for agency officials who did not want to spend G$100M to purchase the defective building and would then have to spend a further US$3M (G$600M) to make the location habitable for the agency’s 300-plus staff and machinery that would have to be relocated.
The agency’s operators were especially upset that they had just finished spending $60M on an additional structure which was constructed in the GGMC’s Brickdam location, but was subsequently confiscated by the recently formed Natural Resource Ministry, which was previously housed at the Office of the President.
The Guyana Geology and Mines Commission is plagued primarily by overcrowding and the additional structure would have greatly eased the pressure of accommodating staffers at the main building.
It was understood that the Ministry took up the building and the Commission was forced to buy the High Street location. However, the High Street building is defective. The mining agency will have to complete the building and remedy the engineering defects.
At the time, this publication was told that load testing had to be performed at the High Street building, since concerns were raised over capacity in relation to accommodating staff, machinery and visitors. While capacity should be at 50 pounds per square inch, it was determined that the location may only accommodate 35 pounds.
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