Nov 22, 2020 News
Kaieteur News – Contractor, BK International Incorporated, has finally vacated the work site of $827M Yarrowkabra Secondary School.
Minister of Legal Affairs and Attorney General (AG), Anil Nandlall, had terminated the contract with immediate effect, some 21 days ago.
In the termination letter, the AG had reminded BK International that it had committed a “fundamental breach” of the terms of the contract, which resulted in the government exercising its right to terminate the contract.
In that same letter, the contractor was instructed to remove all personnel and machinery from the site.
But BK International defied the government’s instructions, as shared by a consultancy firm, Vikab Engineering Consultants Limited.
In fact, the supervising firm stated that during a November 10 visit to the site, it had observed that the contractor was still progressing with works.
The following day, the firm dispatched a missive to Brian Tiwari, the principal in BK International, reminding him of what the term “Termination” meant. He was further instructed to immediately cease all works.
The Ministry of Education in a statement explained that the consultants had instructed the contractor to stop works immediately and advised that any work done or materials ordered beyond the date of termination, November 1, 2020, is done at the contractor’s own risk.
Later on November 19, Permanent Secretary of the MoE, Alfred King, instructed BK to vacate within 24 hours, following which the contractor finally vacated the site on Friday.
The Ministry has since installed its own security after taking possession of the site with the help of the enforcement arm of the state.
$827M Yarrowkabra Secondary School
BK International was awarded this $827M contract through the MoE on December 31, 2019. Despite warnings that the caretaker Coalition government should not be signing any contracts with elections scheduled in March 2020, they still went ahead and awarded the contract. It was signed on January 7, 2020 with completion projected for March 12, 2021.
Even with receiving a $214M advance, the AG in his letter to BK made it explicitly clear that only five percent of the scheduled works have been completed.
This contractor’s termination was grounded on the breach of Clause 40.2 (a) for failing to comply with the schedule works, among other things.
Importantly, BK contractor will not walk scot-free, as the AG made it clear that the government will impose the enforcement of 10% of the contract sum as liquidated damages.
Further to this will be the surrendering of the performance security as consequence of the “fundamental” breach of the contracts.
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