Contractors urged to expose, report “shake-down” attempts
– Dr Jagdeo warns house lot seekers to avoid being conned by “middlemen”
General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party Civic Dr Bharrat Jagdeo is urging that persons come forward with information about corruption regarding government contracts.
Speaking at his weekly press conference Dr Jagdeo stated that the sheer magnitude of contracts in progress countryside makes it difficult to monitor corruption and collusion on these sites.
He noted that earlier this week an issue had to be dealt with where an engineer was accused of ‘shaking down’ a contractor.
“You are talking about maybe six, seven thousand contracts under implementation now. We can’t know if a clerk of work on a project in Black Bush Polder or somewhere else is asking the contractor for money. But the contractors have to understand that if they comply with this, they are not only breaching the system they are doing something illegal. They should contact us,” Dr Jagdeo stated.
He noted that contractors should immediately contact the Office of the President or Vice President, the Minister of Public Works or the National Tender Board if anyone is trying to ‘shake’ them down.
According to the general secretary, “I don’t see it as criticizing the government if somebody freaks out about corruption. Somebody tries to shake you down and you put it out in the public domain, then we will examine it.”
Dr Jagdeo explained that sometimes there is collusion on the sites.
“Where we are having more difficulties is when there is collusion…Everyone wants their road done now. Everyone wants their health facility done now. Everyone wants a house lot now. Now they want it now. They won’t want to wait till next year” Dr Jagdeo stated.
He said the authorities would take firm action.
“So, people need to see if they are being shaken down, don’t come and tell us afterwards…We can set up a sting…So, we can set up a sting and find people and then you put it before the police.”
Dr Jagdeo noted too the number of people who are being conned while trying to get house lots through ‘middlemen’.
“Don’t give them your money. Every week people come to cry, cry by us. Some lady run away with their money. People walk into the ministry, go and talk to the guard, they collect money from them, this is a major issue.
If you do it and we find out you may not even get a house lot that you are eligible for if you apply for it. Please don’t go through middlemen. There is no middleman there.” Dr Jagdeo said.
Dr Jagdeo also announced that only today cabinet awarded contracts for close to seven hundred community roads.