No corruption, offence in award of consultancy contract for Harbour Bridge – Police

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The investigation by the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) into the procurement of consultancy services for the feasibility study and design of the new Demerara River Bridge has found that there was no corruption involved or the misuse of funds.

The Police said the investigation found:

a)         There was no misuse of funds.

b)         There is no evidence that a criminal offence has been committed and

c)         There is no evidence of any collusion between Arie Mol/ Lievense CSO and the personnel from the Ministry of Public Infrastructure.

SOCU, at the behest of Opposition Chief Whip Gail Teixeira, had undertaken the investigation into the award of the contract to the Dutch firm after the Public Procurement Commission (PPC) found the award of the contract violated the procurement laws.

An investigation by the PPC found that the Public Infrastructure Ministry, headed by Minister David Patterson, did not heed the advice of the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB) to retender the project after the first tendering process was annulled.

The Ministry did not retender the project and subsequently gave the contract to the Dutch company, which had submitted an unsolicited proposal.

This move was approved by Cabinet, the Ministry had said, also citing time constraints for the decision to single-source the Dutch firm Arie Mol/ Lievense CSO to carry out a feasibility study for construction of a new Demerara Harbour Bridge.

The Public Procurement Commission (PPC) had declared that the Ministry did not comply with procurement rules in choosing selecting LievenseCSO.

The Commission said there was no evidence that the Ministry asked the National Procurement and Tender Board Administration to approve a single source award.

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