City Hall paid millions for works without formal contracts

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An ongoing Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into City Hall has found that the Council paid millions of dollars to contractors without signing a single contract.

One such instance involves XL Engineering –a company which completed works to the tune of $150M dating back to 2015 and 2016.

During his second appearance before the COI on Friday, Town Clerk, Royston King confirmed that the company was given several contracts without a single document being signed.

Responding to questions from Chairman of the Commission, Justice Cecil Kennard, King disclosed that the municipality entered into “verbal agreements” with the company.

The Town Clerk claimed that the oral agreements included himself, the City Treasurer, Former Finance Committee member, Junior Garrett and the Contractor.

“The contractor agreed to do works and to be paid as the money became available,” and a contract would have been signed at a later date, he told the COI.

Finance Manager of XL Engineering, Aysha Harrop told the COI on October 15 that the firm was hired by the Town Clerk on several occasions to clean up certain areas including the Le Repentir Cemetery.

She said contracts were never signed for the projects, as the Town Clerk requested their services on the grounds of an emergency.

On a separate project funded by the Ministry of Communities, City Hall was accused of “misappropriation of funds,” as it was found that $15M was approved for City Hall to do cleanup works at Princes and Hadfield Streets.

The works were completed by XL Engineering but only $9M was paid –also without a contract.

Justice Kennard noted that “the city council is a big organization and for payments to be properly authorized, then there must be a source document.”

He also pointed out that the Finance Chairman at the council, Oscar Clarke had told the COI that there must be a contract or source document before monies are paid.

King was unable to say where the remainder of the $15M was spent.

XL Engineering claims that in total, it is owed $141M since the $9M it received from the Central Government funded project, is all it was ever paid despite completing works to the value of $150M.

 

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