Oct 10, 2016 News
The Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) has found the need to take further measures to promote development and integrity at the agency.
Officials on CH&PA Board of Directors said that persons working at the Authority are deliberating trying to “cause strife.”
Within recent weeks, Kaieteur News has been in receipt of complaints from several contractors to the effect that the Authority has been withholding money payable for projects that have been long completed.
Many of the contractors say that they have been told that Chairman of the Board, Hamilton Green has been out of the country for a while and there is no one to sign their cheques. “They told us that Hammy (Green) is out of the country on surgery and that is causing the hold up.”
Kaieteur News has been able to contact Green who confirmed that he is indeed out of the country but denied that his absence can be a factor in the hold up. Green said that he knew he was going to be out for a while so he ensured that the necessary measures were in place for the smooth running of the Authority.
Green said that there is an acting Chairman in place and persons have been authorised to sign on his behalf. He said that he is in constant communication with Authority and was not made aware of any such issue.
Nevertheless, Kaieteur News continued to receive complaints.
When contacted, Ronald Ali, the acting Chairman who said that he was not aware of the issue. He confirmed that persons have indeed been authorised to sign cheques on Green’s behalf.
However, Board Member Mark Jacobs said that “we are experiencing internal sabotage.” The Board Members said that there are certain politically aligned employees attached to CH&PA who are trying to “frustrate some contractors.” He said that this is supposed to be a case of hitting two birds with one stone as he feels that the aim is also to “make the Board look bad.”
Jacobs said that the truth of the matter is that cheques for small contractors do not even have to pass through the Board. He said that once these works are inspected and certified as being up to standard, payments are supposed to be made. However, some documents “are being ducked.”
“They are just out to frustrate the process.”
Jacobs said that the Board has found it necessary to do some performance evaluation and “some shuffling is needed.”
The Board Member said that it is imperative that options for greater productivity be considered. “We have a service to provide to the nation, we all have our part to play. We just cannot allow a few to try to cause trouble and frustrate contractors.”
Jacobs indicated that the contractor issue is not the only one of this nature that has been brought to the attention of the board. He said, “It is a lot of things we have to deal with.”
Jacobs told Kaieteur News that the Board has seen the benefit of appointing “professionals” to the top key positions. He said that a new Project Manager, Kennard Dazzel, has been hired. According to Jacobs, Dazzel is a Civil Engineer and a certified Project Manager. He said that the Authority has seen a change since his appointment. Dazzel is now doing the work that used to be done by a Superintendant of Work, Site Engineer and a Project Director. He said that the new Project Manager now covers all those portfolios and has so far proven effective.
Jacobs said that the Authority needs more persons who are professional, do not have political bias and just want to contribute in a meaningful way, “so we need to shuffle.”
Back in June, contracts for nine persons attached to CH&PA were terminated by the Board following alleged theft and poor quality work being done on the Ministry of Housing’s 1000 Homes’ project.
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