BVI News

Gov’t shaves $2.6M contract down to $1M for admin complex repairs

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Government has awarded a local company a contract valued a little more than $1 million to complete rehabilitation works to the Ralph T O’Neal Administration Complex building.

OBM Limited was the recipient of the contract which is valued at $1,048,460.80.

Minister for Works Kye Rymer said OBM Limited was already approved under the previous NDP Administration to conduct works to the building for a proposed contract valued nearly $3 million.

However, further discussions were had between OBM Limited and the Andrew Fahie-led administration, which resulted in a revised offer that saved taxpayers more than half the initial proposal.

“On 16th January 2019, the Cabinet of the Virgin Islands agreed to a contract to OBM Limited for the amount of $2,740,000.34 subject to negotiations. Subsequent negotiations with OBM Limited which involved the Ministry of Transportation Works and Utilities, and the Ministry of Finance resulted in a revised term of reference,” Minister Rymer stated.

“Through continued discussion with OBM Limited, we were able to achieve a substantial reduction in the initial financial proposal, a savings of approximately $1.6 million,” he added.

Scope of works

Rymer said the scope of works outlined within the contract include the architectural and engineering designs, construction supervision and contract management of the entire mechanical air condition and telecommunication systems.

Additionally, OBM Limited will be tasked with developing a new elevator at the west atrium of the complex; repairing all damage to the external building cladding; construction supervision of the replacement of all external glass windows, doors and frames; and design review of the interior designs of the internal office spacing.

Rymer, in the meantime, said the roof membrane replacement works to the complex is substantially complete and the replacement of all the skylights is approximately at 50 percent complete.

He further said the installation of the lightning protection system will commence once the relevant personnel can enter the Virgin Islands when the border reopens.

Complex rehabilitation necessary

Meanwhile, Premier Andrew Fahie said one of the goals of his government was to move forward with the project after it had suffered many setbacks.

He said it is one that is necessary, as the conditions of the complex following the devastation from Hurricane Irma in 2017, was not befitting for public officers to work in at all.

“Right now the building is not fit for purpose so to speak because the slightest of rain and most of the building is leaking so it was compulsory that all the government departments move out in order to fix the building because it was almost virtually impossible to fix the building with the public officers and all the ministries and departments remaining in the building,” Premier Fahie stated.

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  1. vip heckler says:

    Lets all hope that whatever is being shaved off goes back into the treasury and not into the pockets of the VIP supporters

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  2. Diaspora says:

    Ok, clearly some value engineering work reduced the either the cost or scope of work (SOW) from $2.6M to approx $1,048, 481, an approx apparent saving to taxpayers of $1M. Nonetheless, before I get too excited, I would want to see what SOW was axed from the SOW. It is an open secret that government construction contracts are often not fair and reasonable, rarely come in on time or on/under budget and taxpayers may not get value for money.

    This overpricing rest not only on the shoulders of contractors but also on government contracting officers. Several factors put the taxpayers at a disadvantage, including a)poor project design plans and specifications, b)poor plans and specs review, c)poor contract award methodology, ie, low, responsible and responsive bidding. Best value may be a better method, d)poor contract management, ie, failure to enforce liquidated damages……etc, f)poor inspection and g)habitual nature of government not to pay on time.

  3. Curious says:

    Is OBM a construction company or an architectural and project management company . I wonder if the government will be giving individual contracts to do the air conditioning , the doors and windows etc to various contractors and OBM then manage those contracts.

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