Millions overpaid to contractors for COVID-19 hospital – Dr Anthony

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The former APNU+AFC Government is accused of overpaying millions of dollars to contractors who worked on the Infectious Diseases Hospital at Liliendaal, East Coast Demerara (ECD).

Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony on Thursday told the National Assembly that “in one case, there was an overpayment of $70M while another contractor received $14.7M as an advance payment to install an elevator and up to now, there is no elevator in the place.”

According to the Minister, eight contractors were hired on June 16 by the former Government but the certificate and valuation of work completed were done on the same day.

“Payments were made in such a hurry that contractors got paid days before the contractors signed and certified the vouchers…There was no evidence of any of the contractors submitting any performance bonds or guarantee,” Dr Anthony said.

The Infectious Diseases Hospital was rehabilitated from the defunct Ocean View Hotel.

Works at the hospital started in June, one month after Guyana confirmed its first COVID-19 case.

It was commissioned on July 30, 2020, by former President David Granger.

The total cost for the building was pegged at $1.6B.

After additional works, the current Government on August 30 said the facility will now allow for the housing of COVID-19-positive patients in its isolation section.

 

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