Govt/Fedders Lloyd hospital limboPeople’s Progressive Party (PPP) General Secretary Clement Rohee said the hot water Government has found itself in with the India-based contractor Fedders Lloyd Corporation Limited could have been avoided, had it heeded the advice of the masses.He said Government has been failing to take advice from anyone, and, as usual, only realises its mistake “when scandals hit them in their face”.Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, on Friday announced that Government was once again putting the multibillion-dollar Specialty Hospital Project on hold, since it was found out that the contractor was blacklisted by the World Bank. The Administration, he said, will be discontinuing the arrangement with the construction company.The company was selected by Government, after the former contractor, Surendra Engineering Inc, was fired by the former PPP/C Administration in 2014. Following that dismissal, the new Administration came under fire for selecting Fedders Lloyd without carrying out the requisite procurement process. Government’s contention was that the company was the second-ranked bidder after Surendra, so the move was very much appropriate.Rohee, at the press conference on Monday, said the “fiasco” could have very well been avoided.“The PPP has been warning the Government about the contractor, about going down that road.” Government, he said, has been going down the road of sole sourcing and ignoring the views of others that the Project should be returned to tender.“I hope they have learnt their lesson from that,” Rohee told this publication on Monday.“It appears that Government has been going down the path on matters totally oblivious to what people have to say in the country. They feel that they have all the answers, not listening to anyone and the only time they listen is when they come under enormous pressure and when scandal hits them in their face, like this matter,” he added.The information on the Indian company was communicated to Government by the Indian High Commission here via a letter dated June 2016.“(The letter said), among other things, the contractor Fedders Lloyd Corporation Limited was not eligible to continue the Project because it was debarred or disbarred by the World Bank for projects until 2020 due to its procurement policy,” the Minister related.He further stated that the Indian Government expressed preference for a fresh tendering process to be conducted to select a new India-based contractor to execute the project.Harmon pointed out that this new development has resulted in the Project being once again put on hold to facilitate a new tendering process for a new contracting firm prepared to complete the project for the remaining US$13.8 million.“The tendering process, as we are aware, actually takes quite a while – several months it takes – to be completed and while this process is undertaken, the loan sum continues to be eroded by inflation, interests and fees,” the Minister of State outlined.He explained that in light of this development, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Finance and Public Health have been requested by Cabinet to make “certain enquiries” of the Indian Government before a definitive course of action is taken by Guyana on the Specialty Hospital Project.
1 Joey Barton looks glum after initally missing out on Championship winners’ medal Joey Barton and James Tarkowski finally received their Championship winners’ medals on Tuesday having been left empty-handed during Burnley’s promotion parade.The Clarets had celebrated returning to the Premier League in front of thousands of fans on Monday at a ceremony where they were also awarded their champions’ trophy.They had been made to wait two days for that honour, following a controversial order from the Football League not to hand the silverware out at an opposing ground, and Barton and Tarkowski then missed out on the chance to collect a medal like the rest of their team-mates because of an administrative mix-up.The east Lancashire club had only requested 25 medals and they had already been distributed by the time defender Tarkowski and one-time England cap Barton came out with their colleagues for the trophy presentation.However, the error has now been rectified after Burnley uploaded a picture on to their Twitter account of the pair clutching medals alongside the caption: “Thanks to @SkyBet and @football_league for these. #Champions.”Both Barton and Tarkowski also posted images onto social media having played down the incident on Monday night.Defender Tarkowski, who only made four appearances for the Clarets following his mid-season switch from Brentford, had joked he would “use it as a coaster for my hot chocolates now” before saying “It’s not even big enough to fit brew on, I’m sending it back!!”The Football League’s decision not to hand Burnley the trophy on the pitch at The Valley following their 3-0 title-clinching win over Charlton was criticised by players, including Barton, and a delegate from the governing body was jeered by Clarets supporters at the ceremony on Monday.Barton, 33, then refused to lift the cup when it was passed around Dyche’s squad, instead preferring to celebrate with an inflatable version, as the team had done at the weekend.