The construction of the Health Ministry’s Head Office Complex, at Lot 1 Brickdam, which was conceptualised by the former government and flagged by the Auditor General’s Office for several breaches, is expected to be completed within months.
This is according to the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary (PS) Malcolm Watkins, who was questioned by the National Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Monday.
“We then proceeded to re-tender publicly for the works, upon which, another contractor was awarded and that work is ongoing with an expectation to complete in Q4 late, earliest Q three of this year," Watkins stated.
The contract, valued at $356.826 million, was signed in 2017 by Chung’s Global Enterprise for one year.
However, in September of 2019, it was found that the contractor received $208.892 million, which is 58.5% of the contract sum. This was after the project was expected to be completed.
Meanwhile, the Ministry’s former PS, Collette Adams, who appeared before the Committee virtually, noted that the payments were made based on recommendations from the project’s Consultant and Engineer.
“Based on the information received by both of them, that is how the payments were made but I do regret the instances where the variations were paid without the prior approval," Adam stated.
In August 2020, Chung’s Global Enterprise demanded an additional $513.3 million from the People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) Government.
By October 2020, the contract was terminated by Attorney General Anil Nandlall, who cited several breaches in the agreement.