$93M consultancy contract inked to update GLSC network
In efforts to establish and sustainably maintain a modern, robust and accurate national geodetic positioning network for the country, the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission (GLSC) signed a $93 million contract with British firm Ordnance Survey International (OSI), to provide consultancy services for the Continuously Operating Reference Stations (CORS) Network Project.
The new contract for the CORS network project was signed on Wednesday at the Ministry of the Presidency. This comes after Cabinet had approved the award of the contract last month.
According to GLSC Chief Executive Officer/Commissioner Trevor Benn, the project is expected to be highly complex with a specialised blend of technical work to be undertaken. To this end, he noted that the British geospatial consultancy firm was chosen given its expertise and experience. The company also has a history of working in Guyana and understands the functions of the GLSC as the national mapping and geospatial agency.
“Given the mistakes that were made before and the lack of use of the previous network, GLSC expects that this consultancy would provide world-class standards, knowledge, expertise and experience to help us to be able to sustainably manage and maintain the network for the future,” Benn noted.
The GLSC Commissioner further posited that working along with OSI offered a unique opportunity to understand and implement user requirements on a national scale.
“Unfortunately as a country, we did not keep up with pace of development globally in terms of geospatial work – mapping and surveying. This work is extremely important because of the need for good base data. In our construction industry, for example, a lot of our projects are failing because we do not have good base data. We hope that this work that we’re about to embark on will help us to begin to build the database to help us to get there,” the GLSC CEO asserted.
The CORS Network Project is expected to be completed before the end of this calendar year, with works commencing this Friday when the team arrives.
In brief remarks, Minister of State, Joseph Harmon urged that efforts be undertaken for the project to be executed within the given timeframe.
“[The project] will so also help the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission to gather information, set targets and indicators, and develop sustainable land-use policies that are in line with the implementation of our Green State Development Strategy and the establishment as ‘Green State’ … [Government] is of the expectation that central objectives of this project are achieved in keeping with its guidelines,” he posited.
Meanwhile, OSI CEO Peter Hedlund highlighted the importance of establishing and developing the CORS Network.
“In any industry, having a solid CORS network in place is the key foundation of surveying and mapping and demonstration – something I know is very close to the heart of Commissioner Benn and the function of the GLSC to change for the future,” Hedlund posited.
As part of efforts to revolutionise the GLSC through the use of innovative technology, the CORS Network is just one of the strands that are being employed. The objectives of OSI include: establishing full functionality and usability of the existing Network Operations Centre (NOC) and 8-site CORS network, design and document associated CORS management processes and train staff to be able to perform all the first and second-line operational activities, establish third-line support cover with GNSS equipment and software manufacturer.
The firm will also have to assist GLSC to specify, procure, and deploy specialist equipment for the CORS network in accordance with identified national development needs and the strategic business requirements of GLSC as well to ensure that the CORS network is coordinated and connected to the newest and regional realisation of the International Terrestrial Reference Framework (ITRF 2014, Geocentric Reference Systems of the Americas – SIRGAS).
Additionally, the OSI team will further design and implement action plans to ensure sustainability of the CORS network, including specialist training, skills transfer, expert network building and wider user engagement to ensure benefits of the investment are maximised by the Guyana Public and Private Sector users.
Seven years ago, a similar CORS Network project was initiated to the tune of some half a billion dollars. However, while eight stations were set up across the country and equipment was procured, the project did not follow through. (Vahnu Manikchand)