Dec 22, 2016 News
A multi-billion-dollar project that has been shrouded in controversy has run into major problems with one of the bidders this week filing a complaint with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and regulators of state contracts in Guyana.
The appeal will likely halt disbursement of funds for the project until IDB, among others, complete the probe.
Among other things, the bidder– Colombian-owned, Enrique Lourido which is teaming up with local partner, Fix It Depot— is claiming that the process of evaluation and subsequent reported award was highly irregular and appeared to be fixed in favour of Chinese-owned contractor, CMC.
Among other things, the partners want IDB to investigate the selection process; engage an independent committee to analyze the bids submitted; provide details of all aspects of the evaluation and provide an analysis as to why they were not selected.
“We are requesting that before this project is given the go ahead by IDB, a transparent, professional and fair evaluation should be conducted,” the bidder said in their appeal.
The appeal was sent to IDB’s independent investigative arm- the Office of Institutional Integrity- which is based in Washington, DC, US.
At least one other bidder has signaled intentions to file complaints with IDB and the Government of Guyana over the “questionable” process used to choose CMC.
The complaint has also reportedly been copied to President David Granger; a number of ministers and the recently established Public Procurement Commission (PPC).
The project involved the installation of over 25,000 smart meters and low and medium voltage lines along the coast stretching from East Bank Essequibo to East Berbice.
The project has been generating unusual media attention not only because of the amount of money involved– US$18M- but because it took an unusually long time- nine months- before it was reportedly awarded. GPL had been largely silent, raising suspicions–“reportedly”- because Government has not officially announced an award to Chinese company, CMC, which will be paid over $1B over the engineer’s estimate.
Rather, the details of the award only came out after questions last week by the Opposition to Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson in the National Assembly, during the considerations of the national budget for 2017.
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