Police investigating 2016 contract for new harbour bridge study

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The Guyana Police Force has launched an investigation into the award of the 2016 contract to LievenseCSO to conduct a feasibility study and design of a new Demerara Harbour Bridge.

Minister of Public Works Juan Edghill made the disclosure during Friday’s installation of the Board of Directors for the Demerara Harbour Bridge Corporation (DHBC).

“There is an active police investigation as it relates to spending and actions as it relates to the last proposed bridge that was to be built, and the contract that was issued to that company, where there were concerns that due process was not followed,” Minister Edghill announced.

The Minister said he was recently informed of the investigation and that it follows a formal complaint to law enforcement.

“Some members of staff and previous directors have been asked to co-operate with the police and to give statements,” he continued.

Minister Edghill’s disclosure comes nearly three years after the life of the last Board expired.

In 2017, the then Opposition PPP/C had requested that the Public Procurement Commission investigate the contract.

They had sought to hold the former Administration accountable for sole-sourcing the contractor for the massive undertaking, rather than following the procurement laws.

Among many of the Commission’s findings was that there was no advertising for the retendering of the project by the then Ministry of Public Infrastructure, under the stewardship of David Patterson.

The Commission also found there was no evidence of the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board’s input prior to Patterson’s submission of a report to the Cabinet for consideration.

The PPP/C Government has since moved to invite Expressions of Interest (EOI) for the design and construction of the new Demerara Harbour Bridge.

That bridge will have a lifespan of at least 50 years and will be a four-lane, high-span, fixed bridge from Nandy Park, East Bank Demerara to La Grange, West Bank Demerara. (Department of Public Information)

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