Lack of qualified engineers & defaulting contractors to be addressed by MPI
Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson while updating the media on the progress of several projects today in the Ministry’s board room identified the shortage of qualified engineers and defaulting contractors as major challenges affecting his ministry.
The Minister told media operatives that the monthly salary of $80,000 is being offered to graduate engineers.
When asked what is preventing the Ministry from entering into contractual arrangements with engineers, Patterson said many persons are unwilling to work in interior locations even though the necessary allowances such as housing and transportation are provided.
Another issue relating to the Ministry’s capacity is that of the performance of contractors, and Minister Patterson said this would have to be addressed in collaboration with the private sector.
Common problems Patterson identified include contractors acquiring multiple contracts with limited resources, as well as the absence of onsite presence.
The minister is mulling the idea of implementing a “stop gap” mechanism which, according to him would allow for the termination of the contract once a certain percentage of the work is not completed within a stipulated time frame.
Lack of supervisory services by consultancy firms was highlighted as another factor responsible for the slothfulness of works by contractors and Minister Patterson pointed out that there is no penalty clause in the contracts for consultancy firms.