Regional Executive Officer (REO) for Region Ten, Yolanda Hilliman, yesterday debunked claims made by Rusal Guyana Contractor, Arnold Barkoye, that he was owed some $1.5M for works ‘completed’ on the Ituni playground, offering definitive proof that the contractor did indeed receive the majority of his money.
According to Barkoye, in an earlier edition of this newspaper, he had been contracted to do works on the playground in December of last year. Barkoye had stated that after he had done works on the Ituni playground, which had been started by another contractor, he received no payments from the REO to cover his expenses.
However, Hilliman has debunked the contractor’s claims in the strongest possible terms, bringing with her a copy from the cheque dispatch book used to pay a number of contractors for works executed. Among the affixed signatures, to contract no. 224/2014 was Arnold Barkoye, for a cheque totaling $1,079,910.
Hilliman explained that having paid the contractor that sum, ten percent of the entire contract price has to be retained by the Regional office until a final inspection certificate is issued to her, signifying that the work has no defects.
For that, Hilliman said, an inspection had to be carried out on the works by her, along with her Technical and Project Officer Patrice Johnson.
According to the REO, a visit to the playground did reveal defects. There was an absence of facings in the fence of the playground. Barkoye was asked to correct it before the final retained amount–$345,990, was paid.
The REO related that the contractor was instructed by Johnson to complete the repairs and submit photographic evidence of the right work being done, to the Regional office after which the team would return to verify that it was the case and the payments would be cleared for the contractor. As of Thursday, this had not been done.
“The process is that at the end of every project, there is an inspection by a (technical) team and a final inspection certificate is issued to me, saying that, having inspected the whole of the works identified, on behalf of the Government of Guyana and the Regional Democratic Council, and in the presence of the contractor, we confirm that the project was executed in conformity.”
The REO emphasized that she was yet to collect such a certificate to guarantee quality work from Barkoye, hence the reason for the outstanding sum representing 10% of the contract price. Everything else had been paid, contrary to the contractor’s contention. In addition, Hilliman denied that any trucks were ever hired from the contractor.
Hilliman, moreover, made it clear that unless a full withdrawal and public apology was offered by the contractor, she would take legal action against him.
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