‘Issue letters today!’ – Gov’t moves immediately to penalise all defaulting contractors


President Dr. Irfaan Ali, during an early morning meeting at State House on Wednesday, instructed the relevant government ministries and agencies to penalise all defaulting contractors immediately.

“All projects beyond the contracted time, where we have exhausted justified extensions, (we will) issue a letter today instructing that the liquidated damages be instituted immediately.

“We cannot tolerate this,” the Guyanese Head of State said during a video broadcast live on his Facebook page.

Liquidated damages refer to a provision allowing for the payment of a specified sum in the case of a breach of contract. In this case, the President says the government will go after those defaulting contractors that have gone past their project deadline and the justifiable extensions.

The Ministry of Finance will be tasked with calculating the liquidated damages while the Ministry of Legal Affairs will issue the letters of notice.

The President also said actions must now be taken to strengthen project management teams in the public sector.

The Attorney General’s office, for example, will now have a specialised unit dealing with contracts and project management. Additionally, Dr. Ali said all project managers and senior engineers must be properly qualified.

“We are adopting a no-nonsense approach in contract management,” President Ali said, noting that more robust management and engagement from the government is needed.

Such actions have been looming for some time. In March, Dr. Ali gave a stern warning to defaulting contractors, telling them that the government will pursue the requisite actions for any breach of contracts.

During visits to key infrastructure projects last month, Public Works Minister Juan Edghill said the government can institute liquidated damages and even terminate contracts if need be.

The long-delayed Cemetery Road project in Georgetown was one project Edghill said must be completed by the end of March 2024 or the contract awarded to Avinash Constructing and Scrap Metal Inc. will be terminated.

On Tuesday night, hours before the President’s meeting, Edghill said the work done has been quite substantial and the project is nearing completion.

“Everything that needs to be done is not done but- and I say that but very carefully- what has been done since my last visit to now is very substantial.

“As a matter of fact, this afternoon, they were busy paving so we are just a few days behind,” Edghill told the News Room.

What the Public Works Ministry has been doing, he explained, is more robustly working alongside the contractor to guarantee that the work is readily done. And he believes this partnership with the contractor is mutually beneficial.

He, however, acknowledged that there must be some sanctions for the delays in completing the project. Those penalties will be determined subsequently.

1 Comment
  1. habeeb says

    Pres. Ali is now blaming ALL THE CONTRACTORS for delays, delays, delays… if the GoG had done scrutiny of ALL these companies with little or no experience in building LATRINES, we wonder why they were even “contracted”
    to build roads, highways, etc. These contractors, in my opinion, have upgraded themselves to FARMERS. This way, they want to ” MILK” the GoG and the citizens of the country.

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