Jul 27, 2018 News
The Region Six (East Berbice/Corentyne) administration is moving to buy a new bulldozer but there are questions now about the budgeted cost.
According to documents from the region, it is the plan to spend $139M next year for Land Transport, for the agricultural programme. The plans to purchase a new bulldozer were included in the 2019 budget for the region which will have to be approved by Government.
The Regional Democratic Council of Region Six approved the budget this week.
The first piece of equipment on the list as approved by the region is the purchase of a 4×4 pickup for $9, for the Vice Chairman. The region also wants to purchase a 320 C long boom excavator, which is estimated at $45M. However, it is the D6 Angle Blade bulldozer for $85M that has raised eyebrows. A high-end brand is estimated at $40M.
A rice miller says he bought one in back in 2016, landing it here for $17M.
“This is again raising some serious questions. We just now have experienced an embarrassing scandal over a bulldozer which had to be returned to a contractor and monies repaid to the region because someone accepted a wrong one,” a regional official disclosed.
It was only recently that it was disclosed, after much cajoling, that K&P Project Management, which supplied a faulty bulldozer to the Regional Democratic Council, Region Six, has reportedly repaid the full sum of $15M.
This was according to the Regional Chairman, David Armogan.
Armogan stated that he was informed by the Regional Executive Officer (REO), Kim Williams-Stephen that the money was paid back to the Accountant General.
He said on several occasions he tried to make contact with the Accountant General to authenticate what was told to him by the REO, but he was told that the official was busy.
The Chairman pointed out that procedural errors were made with acceptance of a bulldozer that was defective as was the paying of money without the relevant inspection certificates. He said “basic procurement procedures” were flouted.
In June, the Managing Director, Terry Thomas had told Kaieteur News that the company submitted a cheque of $14M to the region and was expected to pay out the remainder shortly.
The bulldozer was also collected from the region.
Regional officials had received a D4 bulldozer in the sum of $14.8M from the company in December 2017, when in reality the bid documents had stipulated a D3 bulldozer. A report from a special investigation done by the Auditor General’s office unearthed major breaches in the transaction.
The report was turned over to Regional Executive Officer (REO) Kim Williams-Stephen on June 12. Thomas had explained that the company won the bid for a D3 bulldozer which they should have supplied. He stated that as they were not getting a D3 at that time at the price in the bid, they thought that they could have supplied a D4, which is a higher specification than what the region wanted.
The contract was signed on September 12, 2017.
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