Gov’t looking at recovering costs for defective Kato Secondary School

GINA, GUYANA, Thursday 17, 2016

Even as Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Basil Williams is in the process of determining who will stand the cost of the remedial work to the Kato Secondary School building, Government is working to ensure that the building is safe for the more than 400 students and teachers that are expected to occupy it.

Speaking at today’s post -Cabinet press briefing at the Ministry of the Presidency, Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman said facilitating the safety and access to education to the Region Eight students awaiting the use of the building is paramount to Government.

“Ultimately the well-being and welfare of children, and their right to an education must be paramount, so I believe that the Minister of Public Infrastructure is going to be finding ways to do some repairs to the building so that it can be safely, efficiently occupied by the students,” the Minister said.

Minister Trotman explained that Government is still determining how to recover damages from the contractor and that the Minister of Legal Affairs and Attorney General is leading this exercise. “The Minister of Public Infrastructure I know is in active discussion with the Minister of Legal Affairs and Attorney General… do we allow the company that presided over the bad workmanship, to be compelled to go and fix it? Or do we surcharge them by way of taking them to court and getting damages?” Trotman said.

Three years ago, the previous administration paid $1B to Kares Engineering Incorporated for the construction of the school, but the shoddy work has made the building unsafe for occupation.

On discovery of the defects, the Minister of Public Infrastructure was mandated by Cabinet to guide a complete review of the project. This evaluation on the work completed by Kares revealed that only about 10 percent of the school was structurally sound. Approximately 60 percent of the project was defective, with another 30 percent being just over the borderline. It was also revealed that remedial works on the building would cost another $140M.

Minister Trotman said today, that Government will not be supporting the contractor in the future, “until it brings itself into compliance with the law and proper construction techniques.”

The Kato Secondary School

The Kato Secondary School