Gov’t has intensified scrutiny of health infrastructure projects

– Min. Anthony

Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Frank Anthony has welcomed the Auditor General’s Report which looked at the public accounts for fiscal year 2019. The report was formally handed over to Speaker of the National Assembly, Mr. Manzoor Nadir, on Thursday.

The report found that approximately $75M was overpaid to contractors during the construction of the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention at Liliendaal. Minister Anthony said he was happy the report was out and persons could see for themselves what transpired at the facility under the previous administration.

Centre for Disease Control and Prevention at Liliendaal

“We had major difficulty with all these contracts that were awarded, what was done and how payments were made and a whole host of other things, so the Auditor General’s Report I’m sure would reflect some of these things. It’s unfortunate that whoever was managing the project was not able to do accurate measurements and to pay as per the work that was done.”

Minister Anthony said drastic changes have been made since the PPP/C Government came into office.

“We have intensified our scrutiny, because we had to complete the project, we have intensified our scrutiny to ensure that we paid by measured works, and I think once we were able to do that, then some of these excesses that we’ve seen in the past, we would be able to curb them.”

Minister Anthony said going forward, a stronger department was needed to oversee infrastructure projects.

“It’s not only Ocean View that we inherited that was in this terrible state of affairs, we also have the Ministry’s headquarters that have all kinds of flaws in the contract and poor performance that we have noted and that’s why the building is not completed. We have a facility that is being built in Ruimveldt and again, that project is not completed although it should have been.” The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention was refurbished at a cost of $1.6B.