– need for in-house engineer highlighted
By the end of the half year, the Ministry of Business had only recorded a 22 percent implementation rate for the Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP).
In an interview with Kaieteur News recently, Business Minister Dominic Gaskin explained that there are a few factors which led to this.
Gaskin said that while his ministry had a few setbacks, its rate of PSIP implementation has certainly not been poor overall. He explained that a lot of the spending for his ministry was concentrated in the second half of the year. Gaskin noted that the entity is actually projected to reach an 85% implementation.
The Minister said, “Most of our agencies have exhausted their capital allocations. However, the Department of Industrial Development, which is responsible for over 60% ( $485M) of our capital, is where our greatest challenge lies. That department oversees a number of projects, but it has some capacity challenges.”
Gaskin continued, “The Ministry of Business does not have an in-house engineer and we have been trying unsuccessfully to recruit one since last year. The compensation package is just not attractive enough for us to recruit an engineer. The alternative is to hire consulting design and supervision engineers through the tender process, but that in itself is a time-consuming process.”
He added, “Being able to monitor our capital projects will remain a challenge while we do not have a resident engineer, but it is a constraint that we are working to overcome.”
Additionally, Minister Gaskin spoke about the strides his ministry made with budgetary allocations in 2015, 2016 and 2017. He noted that the entity was able to complete specific phases of infrastructural works related to Industrial and Rural Development projects. He said that there was the construction of bridge on the Coldingen Industrial estate, installation of fire hydrants on the Belvedere Estate, completion of the Leguan Plantain chip factory, and completion of construction works for the Enmore and Tuschen Call Centres.
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