Govt not accepting “bluff and fluff” work – Minister Edghill
— contractors must be held accountable
Government is taking all necessary measures to ensure greater accountability and financial management of public contracts, according to Public Works Minister, Bishop Juan Edghill.
To this end, his Ministry has employed a “boots on the ground” approach to ensure that work being executed by contractors meet all requirements and Guyanese receive value for their money.
Minister Edghill made these comments on a “Budget in Focus” programme on the National Communications Network (NCN).
“Of course, you can see both myself and my Minister within the Ministry out there ensuring that we are not receiving bluff and fluff in papers and reports and emails and WhatsApp messages, but we are seeing for ourselves what is on the ground. It is us taking a boots on the ground approach whether it’s roads, sea defences, or supply of contracts.”
The Minister on Friday ordered that the contract for the Leguan Stelling be terminated. The $413 million work agreement was two years overdue, although it was expected to last for just six months when signed in September 2018, under the former Government.
Minister Edghill said the work was rife with maladministration, corruption and mismanagement.
“This is for contractors across the workboard. Any contractor who is not performing, we will terminate the contract. We have to terminate the contract at Speightland where the people are suffering. We have tried over the years to get the work completed although it’s already bad. I have another contract for the St Cuthbert Mission road, which is ripe for termination. These are contracts that were signed on the 31st of December 2018, just after the passage of the No-Confidence Motion,” he stated.
Minister Edghill noted that he will be notifying the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board of the poor performance of contractors so that their bid for work in other Ministries will not be considered.
“They must not be allowed to get work, because the Board must know that these people come in with their nice fluff and write up for contracts, but they can’t deliver.”
He said he has also put the engineers at his Ministry on notice, that should they sign off on payments for works unsatisfactorily done, they will be dismissed.
“You are put there to protect the public purse, not facilitate mischief and allow contractors to rape the country,” Minister Edghill said of the engineers. He said the Government wants contractors to be partners in the infrastructural development of Guyana.