Reliable Construction Services Ltd (RSCL) will complete the river training works at the Yarabaqua River in the North Central Windward Constituency for which it was originally contracted to complete under a CDB funded project prior to the procurement process being labelled a mis-procurement and the funds recalled.
According to Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, the work which has already commenced is considered very urgent and must be completed to protect vulnerable homeowners on the bank of the river where the work is now at a standstill. He says that under its legal authority Cabinet has decided to permit RCSL to resume its work at the Yarabaqua River..
Meantime, the Prime Minister in a release dated July 22, 2019 said the original contract with RSCL funded by the CDB has been cancelled.
The PM says it has been communicated to him that RCSL has been on the job for nearly six months and is out of pocket for work already done. He says the government has been advised by the relevant personnel that RSCL has the capacity, personnel and equipment to finish the job which it has started. The Ministry of Transport and Works he says is satisfied that under its ongoing supervision and the relevant professional staff of the government, the usual supervision of infrastructure works can be properly effected with RCSL as the contractor.
The financing will come from the Consolidated Fund of the Government of SVG, not using CDB monies. PM Gonsalves says the Ministry of Transport and Works has been directed by Cabinet to submit a special warrant to obtain financing for the work and to deliver a draft contract for the outstanding works to the Attorney General for urgent review.
The Cabinet has also requested the Ministry of Transport and Works and the Tenders Board to review the evaluation of the bids and the advice rendered by the consultants, the IBI Group. This review and legal advice from the Attorney General will address the IBI’s Group’s professional advice on the bids in the first place and its potential liability to the Government of SVG for any loss or damage incurred or suffered.
Work on the Yarabaqua river training project was halted after the CDB on April 9th, 2019 informed the Director General of Finance and Planning that a mis-procurement had been declared and as a result the financing for the contract had been cancelled.
The mis-procurement was declared by the CDB after its internal review of its “no objection” to the award of the contract which was triggered by a formal complaint by one of the losing bidders for the contract.
According to Prime Minister Gonsalves the objector/complainant to the award of the tender to RCSL was within its right to do so if it considered the award of the contract to be unfair to it.
The Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines is reassuring the public that it will continue to apply best practices to, and strengthen even further, the public tendering process.