Delay in Govt’s construction projects impacts economic activities

Dear Editor,
President Dr Irfaan Ali charged contractors to expedite their work, but to ensure that quality is maintained as Guyana continues to go through a revolutionary period of growth and development. There should be no more pussyfooting on Government contracts and projects that would compromise standards.
The President make clear that timely completion of projects is a major issue that is important for both the Government and contractors to address. He established the need for an assessment of every contractor and project executed at the end of the year, and said a demerit system would be developed.
The demerit system is that the net value of outstanding work would be transferred to the new year, and would become your net value of work in progress, which would disallow contractors from having new contracts, or a certain level of new contracts. It would be a part of the bidding document supplied by the agency.
The reinforcement of the performance-based award system, in addition to the price and technical qualification system that is currently in place, would play a significant role in the future.
Our Government has already committed to building a modern Guyana, with world-class infrastructure that improves connectivity and unlocks the vast potential of the economy. Contractors are seen as key contributors to this vision, so their ability to “think outside of the box” will be critical, going forward.
The construction industry plays an important role in our country’s economic development. Besides establishing the infrastructure required for socioeconomic development, it is a major contributor to overall economic growth. One can determine the role played by the construction industry and the Private Sector in generating wealth and improving the quality of life for Guyanese through the translation of Government’s socio-economic policies into social and economic infrastructure and buildings.
As Guyana moves from developing country status towards a developed and industrialised nation, as envisaged in the People’s Progressive Party/Civic Government’s Vision 2020,
our construction industry and contractors would need to respond to the changes in construction demand. Any attempt to formulate strategies for fulfilling future demand would require a reliable understanding of the past and present scenario of the industry fundamentally. The performance and prospects of the economy have implications for the industry, and construction industry development should be considered in the context of our country’s economic development.
As the President said, “I want you to understand what is going to take place in this country, and why it is so important that we pull our socks up, and why is it so important that we have this conversation,”
There is always room for growth, and contractors must learn to take constructive criticism, and he underscored that a contractor who is bidding for and being awarded large projects that fall over $100M should not be bidding for small regional projects.
Contracting companies and contractors doing business with our Government must comply with a litany of complex laws and regulations that affect their day-to-day business operations.
Poor performance, substandard work and delay in the timely completion of projects must not be tolerated.
Delay in Government construction projects, especially the road sector, has had a significant impact on economic activities in the country. Several uncompleted road construction projects have littered the length and
breadth of some regions because of contractors’ default. Our Government will hold those contractors responsible for those defaults.

David Adams