Minister Patterson admits tender was annulled

first_imgGeorgetown Prison contract– says Ministry was only providing “technical support”By Jarryl BryanThe Public Infrastructure Ministry has come out to admit that a tender to reconstruct the administrative blocks of the Georgetown Prison was annulled. But pushing back against allegations of cronyism, the Ministry is claiming that this was to allow the project to be transferred.According to Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson, in a statement, the process was annulled because the Ministry was not the subject Ministry. AccordingPublic Infrastructure Minister David Pattersonto the Minister, his Ministry was just providing “technical support”.“ The process was indeed annulled; the cries of cronyism by the Opposition are more of their mischievous attempts to spread falsehoods. The annulment was to allow for the project to fall under the relevant Ministry, which in this case is the Ministry of Public Security.”“The Opposition presents these documents that are indeed official, because the Ministry publicly puts the information out there; this is information that is in the public domain,” Patterson continued, going on to accuse the political Opposition of half-truths.At his last press conference, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo supplied media operatives with a paper trail for other contracts which clearly showed the Ministry annulling the process. One such project involved the multimillion-dollar reconstruction of the administrative blocks for the Georgetown Prison – beingThe Camp Street Prison after it was guttedundertaken by the Public Infrastructure Ministry and not the Public Security Ministry.A total of 20 companies had been shortlisted from a prequalification process and were invited by the Permanent Secretary, Geoffrey Vaughn to conduct a site visit on July 27, 2017. They were to respond by the following day on whether or not they would be submitting a bid for the project.These companies included Bassoo and Sons; Ivor Allen; Colin Talbot; SA Nabi and Sons; S Jagmohan Hardware Supplies and Construction Services; H Nauth and Sons; KP Thomas; BK International Inc; J&R General Construction; Courtney Benn Contracting Services; Chung’s Global Enterprise and Guyamerica Construction Inc.Also vying for the contract were Starr Computers; Net Comp; Hardware Depot; Business Communications Services; Dax Contracting Services; Manohar; Industrial Fabrication Inc and NT Computeac.The visit was the following day, rescheduled by the Ministry’s Work Services Group Manager for Procurement and Contracts, Philip Bryan. The procurement manager, by way of email, a copy of which was seen by <<>>, indicated that the site visit for the project was rescheduled for the following day, Friday, July 27, 2017.On July 28, 2017, Permanent Secretary Vaughn wrote again to the bidders saying, “The Ministry regrets to inform you that a decision was taken by the executing agency to annul this bid.”Vaughn then pointed to the clause which speaks to the “employer’s right to accept any bid and to reject any or all bids”.Left hangingIt would not be the first time bidders have been “left hanging” after an annulled tender. Opposition Leader Jagdeo has consistently accused the Ministry of cancelling tenders when it receives unfavourable results, thereby manipulating the system.“If the tenders don’t yield the results that they want, they keep annulling the tender,” Jagdeo had said during a March press conference, when he zeroed in on the scandal at the Georgetown Public Hospital where a multimillion-dollar contract for drug procurement was sole-sourced to ANSA McAL.The Georgetown Public Hospital was accused of delaying and cancelling four of its five public tenders in the months preceding the sole-sourced contract.This then created a situation where there was a massive shortage of pharmaceuticals; a fact which was initially denied by the authorities and which had the potential to cause deaths and aggravated illnesses in patients lacking medication.last_img read more