$74M more to correct defects, complete Health Ministry’s head office

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With an additional $74.1 million approved by the Committee of Supply on Thursday, completion of the Ministry of Health’s head office on Brickdam, Georgetown is expected to be achieved this year.

It was anticipated that the construction of the building, which started in 2018, would have been completed last year with a total of $259 million allocated to this in the 2022 budget and an additional $13 million allocated for the supervising firm.

The supervisory firm will receive an additional $5.2 million this year with the extension of the contract, Health Minister Dr. Frank Anthony revealed.

Health Minister Dr. Frank Anthony (Photo: DPI/February 2, 2023)

He briefly recalled the termination of the contract last year with Chung’s Global Enterprise as a result of breaches to its agreement. Dr. Anthony said among the monies allocated would be to address the defects of the last contractor.

Chung’s was awarded the contract in 2017, to construct the Public Health Ministry’s head office building at Lot 1 Brickdam to the tune of $356.8 million. Works commenced on July 19, 2018, and the contractor was supposed to complete the project within a year.

However, in September 2020, despite receiving $308.4 million for advance payments and mobilisation expenses, as well as two extensions totalling 317 days, permanent works were only 70 per cent completed at the site.

Additionally, the contractor submitted a repriced bill of quantities, demanding an additional sum of $513.3 million on August 3, 2020 – a mere day after the government officially changed hands with the swearing-in of President Dr Irfaan Ali.

Among the breaches highlighted are the lengthy delay in the completion of the building, and the increase of the prices on the bill of quantities for variations to the contract.

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