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Post Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:44 pm

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But Procurement Act calls for “its past performance substantiated by documentary evidence would commend it for serious consideration for the award of the contract…”BK International, one of the stakeholders involved in the Supenaam Stelling contract, which Head of the Presidential Secretariat Dr Roger Luncheon admits was bungled, did not secure the contract for the Roll On, Roll Off Ferry stelling through any surreptitious means.Dr Luncheon was at the time responding to questions on how BK International secured the contract following his role in the Supenaam project coupled with the fact that he is already behind schedule on the new project.Dr Luncheon sought to assure that the award had to be done in accordance with standard rules and regulations that are a part of procurement legislation in Guyana.Officials inspecting the bungled Supenaam StellingHe warned against harbouring any suspicion about any underhand or surreptitious method with which BK International would have secured the contract saying that this is the case once an award has been made by the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board.Commenting on the Supenaam Stelling Dr Luncheon told media operatives that there is absolutely no doubt there was bungling but like everything else the “devil is in details.”He drew reference to a previous press briefing where he said that he took the pains to point out that “we have bungling but no bunglers….no one has accepted a bungled contribution on their part.”Dr Luncheon said that neither the contactor, his associate,Borussia Dortmund Fanshop, the superintendent from the Local Government Ministry or Public works nor the designer has accepted liability for the multi-million bungling of the Supenaam Ferry Stelling.According to the Procurement Act of Guyana, which is the law, to which Dr Luncheon had referred to states: “Every supplier or contractor wanting to participate in procurement proceedings must qualify by meeting such of the following criteria as the procuring entity considers appropriate – (i) that it possesses or has access to the technical competence, financial resources, equipment and other physical facilities, managerial capability, reliability, experience, and reputation, and the personnel, to perform the contract; (vi) that its past performance substantiated by documentary evidence would commend it for serious consideration for the award of the contract…”By year end two roll-on-roll-off ferries are slated to arrive in Guyana courtesy of the Chinese Government. These ferries would operate across the Essequibo River between Parika and Supenaam.To accommodate the ferries the Works Ministry is upgrading the stellings at Parika and Supenaam.Earlier in the year it issued tenders for the modification works and after examining bids from Roopan Ramotar, Courtney Benn Contracting Services, Dipcon and Dynamics Engineering, it awarded the contracts to BK International.BK International has undertaken to modify the Parika Stelling at a cost of $240.1 million and the Supenaam Stelling at a cost of some $138 million.The company also promised to complete both stellings within four months. Two months have already passed.BK International had won the initial contract to construct a stelling at Good Hope/Supenaam on the Essequibo Coast with a view to reducing the travel time between Parika and the Essequibo Coast.Initially it took more than four hours for the ferry to travel between Parika and Adventure. The government decided to limit the travel time to less than three hours by constructing the stelling at Supenaam. At a cost of more than $400 million BK International constructed the stelling which then remained idle for nearly two years.Investigations by Kaieteur News led to the Works Ministry rushing to put that stelling into operation. But disaster struck when the first vehicle rolled off the ferry onto the stelling. The pontoon that was supposed to take up to a few tons, sank and the vessel slipped into the Essequibo River.At a press conference in the wake of the disaster, Works Minister Robeson Benn accused BK International of faulty work. He threatened legal action against the contractor. A similar view was expressed by Prime Minister Sam Hinds who was mandated by President Bharrat Jagdeo to mount an investigation into the project.But the need to get the stelling operational caused the government to inject money into the project. But earlier comments by the Works Minister did not go unnoticed by the management of BK International. The construction company launched a scathing attack against the Works Minister only to apologise a few days later.The Works Minister had blamed the company which in turn insisted that it performed according to the design specifications. The company also blamed the Works Ministry for contributing to the problem of the stelling by attempting modifications.The findings of the investigation have not been released. Word is that the report is lying on the desk of the Prime Minister.

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