Sep 21, 2022 News
– calls for full investigation of NPTAB
Kaieteur News – Former Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson is requesting a full investigation into the operations of the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB) over a series of questionable contract awards.
Patterson during an Alliance For Change (AFC) press conference said that most recently, the public saw bids being accepted for the Gas-to-Energy (GTE) project from contractors who were not listed as prequalified earlier this year.
He explained, “In January 2022, NPTAB received 12 pre-qualification bids for the Gas to Energy project, at [the] tender opening, companies that did not participate in the January 2022 pre-qualification process has submitted bids – it would be of interest to see the final award.”
The former Minister went on to note, “The AFC has been compiling a list of all these questionable contracts awards and will be formally submitting a request for the (Public Procurement Commission) PPC to conduct further investigations into these awards.”
In January this year, the Department of Public Information (DPI) reported that NPTAB received 12 prequalification bids for the project. The companies who were listed include Amerapex Cooperation (USA), NGC Group (Trinidad and Tobago), China Machinery Engineering Cooperation, CEPCOII Electric Power, CH4 Guyana Incorporated and Lyndsayca Incorporated, China Energy International Guyana Company Limited, Apan Energy, Wison Offshore and Marine Limitedl, Constutora Queiroz Galvao, Tecnicas Reunidas, Power China International Group Limited.
It was later revealed by Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo that nine of these firms had prequalified for the local gas project. A few months after receiving the initial bids, the VP held a press conference where he explained: “You know that nine companies were prequalified. I think the list was in the public domain. This is after a long process. And the requests for proposals will now go out, at the end of two weeks, to these nine companies to make the bids now for the power plant and the NGL facility.”
It was only on September 15 that bids were opened for the construction of the Natural Gas Fired Power Plant. Five companies submitted financial proposals for the project including Guycan Consortium – US$549,088,000, China Energy Int’l Group Co. Limited – US$466,649,772, China Machinery Engineering Inc. – US$696,001,776, Power China Int’l Group Limited – US$703,652,256, and Lindsayca Inc. in joint venture with CH4 Guyana Inc. – US$898,764,244.
Notably, Guycan Consortium was not listed as a prequalified bidder. This newspaper did not find any records for the company in Guyana. It is unclear whether it is a local firm or registered elsewhere.
The AFC said that since August 2020, several contract awards have caught the public’s attention. For instance, the party reminded that a company with no track record in construction – that is in fact better known for the promotion of sporting and entertaining events – received a $346 million contract to construct a school in Region 10.
Further, Patterson said another contract was granted, this time to build a fire station, to a company whose main business activity is in the mining sector.
Citing another example, the former Infrastructure Minister explained, “In 2020, the completion of Hunter Street was awarded to a company, whose principal’s previous experience was in the motor racing arena, once again, when queried the response was the successful bidder previously built roads in the backdam.”
He added, “The recent award for the rebuilding of the North Ruimveldt Multilateral School, is yet another example of the questionable evaluation and award process arising from NPTAB, one can recall that the last time this contractor was awarded a contract with the Ministry of Education, headed by the current Minister, they jointly produced the Kato Secondary School – a project so riddled with defects, that it was deem unsafe for occupation, and extensive remedial works had to be undertaken.”
Patterson said a recent inspection revealed that several issues relating to the poor construction of the Kato School still exists. To this end, he told the media that Minister Priya Manickchand’s assurance that an independent engineer will be supervising this project, should be of little comfort to the public, since “an independent engineer was also assigned to the Kato School – despite being supervised, the final product was unacceptable.”
He explained that the party has been compiling a list of all these questionable contracts awards and will be formally submitting a request for the PPC to conduct further investigations into these awards. The former Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) was keen to note that special attention should be paid to the bid evaluation and contract awards process.
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