Jul 22, 2016 News
– AG to review report on way forward
Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment, Raphael Trotman, told media operatives at a post-Cabinet media briefing at the Ministry of the Presidency yesterday, that the findings of the audit report into the Kato Secondary School Complex Project is ‘nothing short of criminal’ .
The Minister said that the report was tabled by the Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson, and was prepared by Rodriguez Architects Limited – the agency that carried out the audit of the project at government’s request.
Trotman added that the report addressed the audit in three sections: Structural assessment, building defects and contact administration. All of these sections, the Minister said, highlighted a number of discrepancies.
He said that Cabinet has noted the comments in the report in relations to the designer, the consultants and the contractor of the project as well as, the cost of remedial works should the Government decide to undertake them.
Cabinet has requested that the Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Basil Williams, review the report to determine accountability and to advise on the appropriate action to be taken, Trotman pointed out.
“The building of the school at Kato, what those findings revealed (are) nothing short of criminal but at the appropriate time, the press is going to be invited not just to see the report, but to see also the defects as they exist in Kato.”
Commenting also on the approximately 40 audit reports already completed, Trotman said that Cabinet is overwhelmed by the scale of the findings. He added that the Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan and the Minister within the Ministry of Finance, Jaipaul Sharma, will be going through those reports, which can be brought forward earlier rather than later. This process he said is ongoing and within a few weeks, Guyana will see some action.
The school at Kato in Region Eight, has continued to cause headaches for the Government. The structure has numerous structural defects and has been deemed unfit for occupation. Kares Engineering had won the contract for the construction of the school.
The school was initially billed at $780M, but the previous Government had later disclosed that the final tally could be as much as $1B.
The previous administration in justifying the costs, had said that the contracting firm utilised timber, sand and stone from within Region Eight (Potaro/Siparuni). However, cement and other hardware had to be transported by trail and air from Georgetown into Kato by the contractor.
Construction of the school started in 2013 and the edifice was scheduled to be opened in January 2016. This was delayed following the discovery of the defects. News of the defects in the structure of the school was first made public in January, during the consideration of the 2016 estimates and expenditure.
The school is intended to be a modern institution which caters for 400 students, 250 of whom will be accommodated in the dormitory. It also has an adjoining administrative block, teachers’ quarters, kitchen and sanitary facilities, and apart from the dozen classrooms, it also boasts computer and science laboratories, departments for industrial arts, home economics, visual arts and agriculture.
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