Public Works Minister, Juan Edghill has terminated the contract for the rehabilitation of the Leguan Ferry Stelling.
The termination comes one day after the minister led a team to the island to listen to the concerns of residents. It was during that engagement that the minister promised a review of the workplan.
Edghill said that he met with the contractor and his team along with the team from the Transport and Harbours Department, where discussions were held.
The termination was guided by the special report on the rehabilitation of stelling that was conducted by the Audit Office of Guyana.
That report determined that the contractor, S. Maraj Contracting Services, is “incapable, unable, and does not possess the wherewithal to successfully execute this project valued at $413,259,260.”
The contract was signed on September 20, 2018 under the leadership of David Patterson, then Minister of Public Infrastructure.
The contractor received payments totalling $199,435,000, almost 50% of the contract sum, an unheard of senario that is outside of normal procurement practices and a breach of the Fiscal Management Accountability Act can be best described as a corrupt transaction, the minister said.
As of today, the actual works and materials on site is estimated at just about $100M.
“A contract that should have been completed in six(6) months, signed on September 20, 2018 recieved an advance payment on September 26, 2018 but the contractor only recieved his order to commence works on December 6, 2018. So the Contractor was in possession of tens of millions of taxpayer dollars for almost three months before he was required to begin work,” Edghill explained.
This contract was expected to be completed by the June 7, 2019. It is now 20 months beyond the completion date. By April 19, 2019, the advance payment bond as well as the performance bonds had expired.
“I regret this wastage of taxpayers money. The Attorney General would be engaged to ensure the recovery of every dollar of taxpayers’ money. For the people of Leguan and Guyanese who have suffered, please be assured that every lawful procurement process will be taken to ensure that a contractor is engaged so that this stelling can be completed,” the minister noted.