Government 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.
Sinn Féin Councillor Gary Doherty has called for increased cooperation between training bodies in Ireland and their counterparts in the UK and beyond. Cllr Doherty says that the certificates awarded in Ireland by FETAC in conjunction with bodies such as Solas are not being recognised by employers in Britain.Cllr Doherty said “I have been contacted by numerous people who are very concerned at the situation at present. These people are struggling to find work to feed their families. They are being forced to go to the UK to look for work in the construction industry which is still moving in parts of Britain. “They are doing courses in Ireland to get the relevant certificates to work on site, however on attaining employment in the UK they are being told they don’t have the relevant accreditation to work and are being turned away. This is not acceptable.”To work on a construction site in Ireland you must do a Construction Skills Certificate Scheme or CSCS which entitles you to a FETAC award, otherwise known as the ‘Safe Pass’.Cllr Doherty says he has heard reports of men turning up for work in London, Liverpool and Aberdeen with the safe pass only to be told it is not recognised in the UK.“I am also aware that other Irish certificates such as the MEWP or Mobile Elevated Work Platform certificate which allows work on cherry pickers and cranes etc. is not recognised by British employers. “I am calling for Solas and the Education and Training Boards to liaise with their counterparts in the Construction Industry Training Board in the UK to overcome this problem. I see no reason why Irish certificates cannot be accepted in Britain so it boils down to a simple lack of communication. It is certainly unfair for people to pay for training courses in Ireland only to find their tickets aren’t worth the paper they are printed on in England.He concluded “It is a big enough decision for these people to leave their families to go to work across the water, we cannot allow the situation to continue where they are then being turned away from work because we haven’t ensures that our qualifications are recognised outside Ireland.” CONCERN THAT DONEGAL CONSTRUCTION WORKERS NOT COVERED BY ‘SAFEPASS’ OVERSEAS was last modified: March 11th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:CLLR GARY DOHERTYCONSTRUCTION WORKERSdonegalSAFEPASS