Govt yet to sign contract for Specialty Hospital

first_imgGovernment is yet to sign the contract with India-based construction firm Fedders Lloyd for the construction ofAn artist’s impression of the Specialty Hospitalthe controversial Specialty Hospital.Health Minister Dr George Norton told Guyana Times on Wednesday that the contract is currently with the Indian government. He said as soon as the Indian government completes its evaluation, it will be handed to the Government of Guyana.Finance Minister Winston Jordon recently said the project was moving at a rapid pace, with consultants currently putting the documentation together ahead of the first phase of construction expected to begin by midyear.Jordan said Fedders Lloyd had already modified the design, taking into account the work already done by the previous contractor, Surendra Engineering.He assured the project would cost no more than the remaining US$13 million (of an initial $18 million) line-of-credit provided by the Indian Exim Bank.In 2012, the hospital contract was awarded to Surendra Engineering to design and construct the facility.Its services were subsequently terminated owing to several contractual breaches.The matter was taken to the High Court and compensation was accordingly awarded to Government.During that initial bidding process, Fedders Lloyd was disqualified, but the company’s legal representative Khemraj Ramjattan (now Vice President and Public Security Minister) had argued against that verdict.Despite this, the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition, even while in Opposition, contended that Fedders Lloyd was wronged.Shortly after assumption to office, the government signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the disqualified company to undertake the construction, citing that it would be more economical and less time-consuming than going through the transparent process of retendering.The government’s decision to hand the contract to the company was made despite a public outcry over the manner in which the award was handled and concerns about the lack of transparency and accountability surrounding the entire transaction.last_img read more