BVI News

Gov’t defends selection or road contractors, purchases

Mark Vanterpool. File photo

Minister of Communication and Works Mark Vanterpool has tried to defend the process used in selecting contractors and suppliers of goods for several road rehabilitation projects being funded with a $16 million loan from the Social Security Board.

Just over $3.9 million of the amount borrowed is still available to undertake new projects, said Vanterpool, who also noted that there has been ‘very little activity regarding road works’ since December last year.

“My ministry and the Public Works Department were engaged in completing designs and costing of the remaining projects to be executed. We intend to recommence works within the next few weeks,” Vanterpool announced while responding to questions posed by Leader of the Opposition Andrew Fahie.

In relation to the projects already executed, Vanterpool explained how contractors were selected.

“Given the quantity of work that was expected to be executed by way of the road rehabilitation projects, the ministry and Public Works Department utilized a list held by the Public Works Department, which contained all equipment operators in the territory, registered with the Public Works Department.”

“In addition, the ministry sought the assistance of all district representatives to provide a further list of operators that may not have been on the Public Works Department’s list. To my knowledge, all of these operators were assigned works,” Vanterpool this month told the House of Assembly.

The minister explained that, in relation to the procurement of goods, a number of local vendors benefited. However, some materials had to be sourced overseas, he said.

“Quotations were sought and obtained from vendors throughout the territory for goods such as construction materials, and as it relates to the procurement of services by way of heavy equipment including trucks, excavators, and backhoes. The rate of compensation has been set by the Public Works Department, and these are the rates that have been used for compensating when such equipment is hired.”

Vanterpool further said: “There are some goods and services that are of limited supply within the territory, including asphalt for road pavement, concrete, sub-base material, and other quarry material.”

The minister said he is not aware that there was breach of any stipulated process regarding the procurement of goods and services. “To my knowledge, these processes have been followed throughout the execution and award of goods and services procured by my ministry.”

He said the law requires that, unless Cabinet otherwise directs, there should be public tender for all goods and services when the value of the said goods or services exceeds $100,000.

“Where the supply exceeded $100,000, Cabinet’s approval was obtained in accordance with the Public Finance Management Amendment Act, 2005…” the minister further told the House.

He, in the meantime, named the roads that will be rehabilitated with the just over $3.9 million remaining from the Social Security Board loan.

“The balance is expected to finance the continuation of road rehabilitation works in the areas of the Belle Vue Church of God of Prophecy entrance to the top of Hope Hill, Baugher’s Bay Public Works junction to Baugher’s Bay Beach entrance, Waterfront Drive below Road Town Jetty to Prospect Reef round-a-bout, Anegada main road leading to Cow Wreck Hotel and Beach Bar; and on Jost Van Dyke – Rudy’s Bar to Foxy’s Restaurant – Bottom Road.”

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