Contract document missing from PNC-led NA Town Council

…as probe into $30M spending intensifies

A contract document has reportedly gone missing from the APNU-led New Amsterdam Municipality for work done to rehabilitate the municipality’s wharf.
According to the Town Clerk, Sharon Alexander, the document which was in her keeping went missing while she was on leave.

The market wharf under construction in 2018

When the issue was addressed in the Council’s chambers, several councillors questioned the dependency on other departments by the administrator for documents.
Kirk Fraser also questioned the level at which the municipality is operating.
“It is appalling that the Town Clerk would be asking another department for such an important document when she is the Chief Executive Officer of this municipality. It, therefore, tells us at the level at which we are operating,” he said.
When asked for a comment on the matter, Mayor Wainwright McIntosh explained that when the contract for the rehabilitation of the municipal wharf was awarded, he was not even a councillor. However, Fraser was a councillor in 2016, when it was awarded.
“I know for a fact that throughout the process, the Town Clerk was involved up to when the contract was awarded.”
Fraser questioned the sudden lack of information which would help the Council to determine whether it was getting value for its money. He noted that the document should have been easily retrieved from other departments of the municipality which were also involved in the process leading up to the awarding of the contract.
He, however, distanced himself from any situation which might see the municipality haemorrhaging financially.
“It was there when I felt in June and when I came back in July there was no need to go into that file so I did not need to go into that file. When Council would have asked that the lawyer’s letter be sent and the Lawyer requested that information, I asked the girls for the file and we could not have found the file. They said somebody borrowed it and it has not returned,” Alexander explained.
However, she could not say who took the file.
The Town Clerk promised the Council to continue to search in her office for the document.
Meanwhile, back in June 2018, it was reported that the Council had been flouting the Procurement Act in awarding contracts. The Town Council had not been tendering for contracts and has issued contracts valuing in excess of $16M without a tender.
In fact, the minutes of the Council’s statutory meeting for the month ending June 30, 2018, stated that nine contracts were given out; some of them even stated that the applicant or contractor who was given the contract asked that the bid be eliminated.
One of the contracts was for $9.1M to carry out repairs on the market wharf. The second contract for repairs to the same wharf was for $4.2M, yet another contract for repairs to the market wharf was issued for the sum of $16.3M.
Meanwhile, under the Laws of Guyana Municipal and District Councils Act 28:10 Section 97, it says the Council before entering into any contract for the execution of any work or the supply of any goods to the value of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars or more, give notice of such proposed contract and shall, by such notice, invite any person willing to undertake the same to submit a sealed tender.