GWI should make public hiccups with previous contractor on Lamaha Street project

Dear Editor,
It was reported in the media on May 6, that the Chief Executive and other officers of the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) visited a construction site on Lamaha Street where an aged pipeline is being replaced.
A contract was awarded in January to complete works on this unfinished aged pipeline replacement project with a deadline of March 31 for completion. However, under the pretext of inclement weather, GWI extended the project’s completion deadline to late May.
Inclement weather is interpreted to mean heavy rainfall with some distress and contractors bidding on Government contracts are expected to be aware of the country’s rainfall periods and their intensities which could adversely affect construction progress. Therefore, their bidding strategy should reflect this understanding as it affects the time for completing a contract and the bidding amount.
Heavy rainfall, unlike a hurricane, tornado or a breach in the EDWC Dam which had flooded vast areas on the ECD in 2004 is not considered a “force majeure” which allows time extension for a project under construction without any penalty for failure to perform. It is therefore puzzling and should be of public concern as to the cause why this contractor was given a time extension without any imposed penalty by GWI when many other contractors executing Government projects elsewhere in the country were never given time extensions to complete projects because of inclement weather. Some contractors have been known to bid low on contracts and when they failed to perform because of poor management and other factors, they quickly claim inclement weather as the cause for their failure to perform and use their influence to manipulate the system for time extension concession in their contract execution.
It will be useful if the hiccups which GWI claimed the previous contractor encountered on the pipeline replacement project and which resulted in the termination of his contract with legal proceedings for failure to meet his contractual obligations, be made public.
Yours truly,
Charles Sohan