Recovery and Development Plan projects that exceed $2 million will only be open to local contractors for bidding.
“There is a $2 million limit where work will not be advertised externally. This is just to make sure that work is done and advertised in this country up to a certain point,” Premier Dr D Orlando Smith explained.
Dr Smith said the Cabinet-approved policy — which is a proposal from the Premier’s Office — is to ensure capacity building in the territory.
“I know that some of our companies have done quite well in working with Caribbean Development Bank over the years and maybe/will be/should be in a position make some those bids and some of those [projects] where there is larger monies are involved. I expect that, at the end of this process, even more companies will have an increased capacity for such major projects.”
Policy’s plausibility in question
Opposition legislator Julian Fraser is however cynical about the policy.
While examining the policy, Fraser raised issues that questioned its plausibility.
“Does that mean that if the project must be done locally and you can’t find ‘local contracts’ to do it, the project doesn’t get done? Or does it mean that, by whatever means necessary, it must be done by locals whether they are competent or incompetent.”
He continued: “Short little statements like those could be dangerous. Short little statements like those seem to come from the lips rather than from the brain … Is that done to make sure that people like myself who are so concerned about who benefits from these monies being spent are comfortable — appease people like me? I’m not that easily impressed.”
The aforementioned policy is one of seven principles that are to serve as the ‘final drafting instructions’ on how regulations for the Recovery and Development Act are to be written.
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