… Contractors to attend pre-application meeting

The construction site at St Rose High School when Courtney Benn Contracting Services was through

Finally, a tender has been launched to recreate St Rose High School, which has been plagued with problems dating back to the former National Unity Partnership Government / Alliance for Change (APNU / AFC).
The tender requires bidders to submit their proposals to the National Tender Procurement and Administration Board (NPTAB) no later than February 24, 2021, together with valid National Insurance Scheme (NIS) and Guyana Finance Authority compliance certificates (GRA).
The tender made it clear that the project required bid security and that all bids will be opened in the presence of the supplier (s) and their forthcoming representative (s). There will be no late offers and no electronic bidding will be allowed.
Importantly, there will be a pre-bid meeting with contractors that is likely to cover the difficulties the project has faced and expectations for the contractors. According to the tender, all interested contractors are required to attend the pre-bid meeting on February 10, 2021, at 14:00h in the boardroom of the Ministry of Education.
On January 20, Courtney Benn Contracting Services Limited, the previous contractor who worked on the project, was taken to court by the Attorney General and Senior Counsel Anil Nandlall, acting on behalf of the State.
According to the statement of claim, Nandlall is seeking a total of $ 414.3 million on behalf of the State from the respondents, over the botched construction of the school. A construction company is seeking a sum of $ 100 million in damages.
In addition, a sum of $ 105.8 million payable under the performance bond issued by Caricom General Insurance. Aggravated damages of $ 100 million are also being sought, while claims are also being made for $ 41.230 million in fixed damages.
In the statement of claim, the AG argued that Courtney Benn Contracting failed to deliver the scope of work as agreed in the work schedule. It was noted that, in August 2020, an assessment had found that only nine per cent of all work had been completed, after nine months had passed.
In November last year, the Ministry of Legal Affairs had a case to terminate a number of contracts that had been inherited from the previous Government which had been suspended and for which costs had been inflated. One such contract was the construction of the new St Rose High School.
The contract for this project has been awarded since August 2018. However, the contractor only managed to complete a small portion of the work it was contracted to do. Courtney Benn Contracting Services Limited (CBCSL), the contractor awarded the over $ 350 million contract through NPTAB to build the school, was subsequently kicked off the project.
It was revealed in November that Nandlall, on behalf of the Government, had written to the company informing them that the contract was being terminated on the grounds that they had failed to complete the project in a timely manner and to work schedules.
“… Your company has breached the basic terms of the contract and as a result, the Government of Guyana hereby exercises its right to terminate the contract immediately,” Nandlall had stated in his letter.
Meanwhile this announcement had an interview with Education Minister Priya Manickchand earlier this month, who had said that the project had been reviewed and would be re-tendered shortly. (G3)

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