– contract reportedly awarded to mechanic
The Corriverton, Berbice office of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) collapsed on Saturday while under repairs.
While no one was injured, workers and others reportedly had to rescue a man who was trapped under the structure.
However, it is also being reported that the contract was awarded to a mechanic from the Corentyne area who then sub-contracted it out to another contractor.
According to persons familiar with the incident, work to repair and raise the building started about two weeks ago.
It was after lunch time in Saturday that while workers were ‘jacking up’ the structure that it came crashing down.
The building is said to be an old one.
An official of the Mayor’s office said that he heard of the collapse and promised to investigate.
The official was unable to say if permission was granted to raise the building or conduct repairs.
The official did note that if such a request came it likely would not have been green-lighted, as the building was an old one.
Rather, GECOM would have been told that it would have been better to build a new building.
If it is indeed true that GECOM awarded the contract to a mechanic, it would raise eyebrows as the entity which manages general and local government elections in Guyana is under investigation for questionable procurement practices for its procurement not only communication radios but stationery, batteries, pliers and a host of other supplies to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars.
In fact, a $100M purchase of outdated communication radios investigated by state auditors suggested significant wrongdoings.
With a new Chairman, Justice (Ret’d) James Patterson sworn in recently, it is widely expected the commissioners will deliberate on the report of the state auditors who are also investigating other purchases to the tune of millions of dollars.
Already, Auditor General Deodat Sharma, has committed to hand the report to police for further investigations if the commissioners fail to act.
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