Oct 24, 2020 News
Kaieteur News – Public Works Minister, Juan Edghill, read the riot act to road contractors and project engineers, making it clear that there will be a zero tolerance policy for collusion between the two parties.
“Collusion between contractors and project engineers and project managers will not be tolerated,” Edghill warned.
The Minister issued this warning on Wednesday during a public engagement with contractors at the Arthur Chung Conference Center (ACCC). That meeting also saw the attendance of Junior Public Works Minister, Deodat Indar; Chief Works Officer, Geoffrey Vaughn, along with other technical officers.
Explaining government’s stance, Minister Edghill said that contractors are known to stall works in one area in an effort to complete other projects for other government ministers.
But such a practice will be halted, he explained, adding that the Public Works Ministry has adapted a new policy of ensuring that contractors have no outstanding work before being handed another contract.
He said, “A contract is not a loan for you to finance other business; a contract and the monies paid in a contract are to get the job done.” He emphasized too the need for the timely implementation of projects.
Not only will the contractors face heat for subpar works, but the project engineers too, as the Ministry will be on high alert for quality control.
“The people can’t be suffering all the time; they need proper roads and infrastructure, and with my team on the ground, they will get the job done,” the Minister said.
The Minister also pointed out that a large list of road projects that were signed off since in 2019 by the previous administration, are not yet complete and even worse, have not even commenced.
One such stalled project was the Sherriff/ Mandela Road Expansion project, carrying a cost of US$31 million. In 2011, the Government expended $1.7Billion on the designs for the widening of the flagship project and on preparatory works for the widening of the East Coast Demerara Four Lane Highway between Better Hope and La Bonne Intention, where the latter project is complete.
The project was launched in 2018 but hit delays with the Coalition government threatening to yank the project from the Chinese contractor.
Not only that, the new government was forced to pump another $134 million to have it completed. Only recently did works recommence there and it is expected that by the end of 2020, the project would come to finality.
Minister Edghill reiterated that if the contractors fail to execute their contract obligations and cannot get the job done, government will have no choice but to terminate the contract with immediate effect, and pass the works to the staff of the Ministry’s Force Account Unit to get it done.
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