Govt retenders for construction of St Rose’s High School

…contractors to attend pre-bid meeting

The construction site at the St Rose’s High School when Courtney Benn Contracting Services was through with it

A tender to reconstruct the St Rose’s High School, which has been plagued with problems dating back to the former A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Government, has finally been launched.
According to the tender, bidders are required to submit their bids to the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB) no later than February 24, 2021, complete with valid National Insurance Scheme (NIS) and Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) compliance certificates.
The tender made it clear that bid security is required for the project and that all bids will be opened in the presence of the supplier(s) and their representative(s) who to attend. There will be no late bids and electronic bidding will not be permitted.
Importantly, there will be a pre-bid meeting with contractors that is likely to encompass the troubles the project has faced and expectations for the contractors. According to the tender, all the interested contractors are required to attend the pre-bid meeting on February 10, 2021, at 14:00h in the Education Ministry’s boardroom.
On January 20, Courtney Benn Contracting Services Limited, the previous contractor that worked on the project, was taken to court by Attorney General and Senior Counsel Anil Nandlall, acting on behalf of the State.
According to the statement of claim, Nandlall is seeking on behalf of the State a total of $414.3 million from the respondents, over the botched construction of the school. A sum of $100 million in damages is being sought from the construction company.
Additionally, a sum of $105.8 million payable under the performance bond issued by Caricom General Insurance. Aggravated damages of $100 million are also being sought, while claims are also being made for $41.230 million in liquidated damages.
In the statement of claim, the AG contended that Courtney Benn Contracting failed to execute the scope of works as agreed upon in the work schedule. It was noted that in August 2020, an assessment found that only nine per cent of all the works had been executed, after nine months had elapsed.
In November of last year, the Legal Affairs Ministry had cause to terminate a number of contracts inherited from the previous Government which had been delayed and for which the costs had become inflated. One such contract was for the construction of a new St Rose’s High School.
The contract for this project was awarded since August of 2018. However, the contractor only managed to complete a small fraction of the works it was contracted to do. Courtney Benn Contracting Services Limited (CBCSL), the contractor that was initially awarded the over $350 million contract through NPTAB to construct the school, was subsequently booted off the project.
It was revealed in November that Nandlall on behalf of the Government, wrote to the company informing them that the contract was being terminated on the grounds that they had failed to complete the project in a timely manner and in accordance with work schedules.
“…Your company has committed a fundamental breach of the terms of the contract and as a result thereof, the Government of Guyana hereby exercises its right to terminate the contract with immediate effect,” Nandlall had set out in his letter.
This publication had meanwhile done an interview with Education Minister Priya Manickchand earlier this month, who had said the project had gone under review and would soon be retendered. (G3)