Four years later, gov’t yet to receive $72.3M in mobile scales from Jamaican company

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Three mobile motion-scales, valued $72.264 million, that were procured in 2016 are yet to be delivered to the government through the Ministry of Public Works, formerly the Ministry of Public Infrastructure.

Permanent Secretary of the Public Works Ministry, Vladim Persaud told the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Monday that NevPro Realization Limited of Jamaica, the supplier that was awarded the contract, shipped only two scales which are still in Laparkan’s storage bond.

A cost for the storage of the scales is to be submitted to the ministry next week since they have not been officially handed over to the ministry.

“We have tried several times to make contact with the supplier…we are unable to make any contact with the company…it seems as though they have come off the face of the earth. We can’t find any information of the company,” the Permanent Secretary said.

On hearing this, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance, Gail Teixeira said she was displeased about how the then Ministry of Public Infrastructure dealt with the matter over the past years.

“I am amazed that one; there has been no disciplinary action taken against anybody in the ministry, there has been no calling in of anybody to investigate, even the police. There has been no lawyer’s letter… I can’t understand a ministry being so indulgent,” she said.

Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance, Gail Teixeira (DPI photo)

Minister Teixeira contended that the then National Procurement and Tender Administration Board could not have awarded the contract without the former government’s Cabinet’s no-objection. Concerning the lack of contact with the company, she advised the Permanent Secretary to contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for assistance.

With regard to the way forward, the Permanent Secretary said, “We have already prepared a letter to be sent to the Attorney General and we will also be sending one coming out of the advice of PAC to the Foreign Affairs Ministry. Our main objective at this particular juncture is to have the scales in our possession as it should be since 2016.”

In 2018, the Ministry of Public Infrastructure paid $10 million in value-added tax to the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) for the two scales at Laparkan, however, the cheque was rejected as the GRA had just adopted the new integrated customs management system, ASCUDA World.

The three motion-scales were sourced to be placed in sections of the country where there were roads prone to damage by overweight vehicles. (Extracted and modified from Department of Public Information)

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