Quarry, loam, sand pit owners to be certified from 2021

contractors concerns addressed at forum

The Ministry of Public Works will grant certification for providers of raw construction materials to ensure compliance with established standards.

Chief Works Officer, Mr. Geoffrey Vaughn made this disclosure during Wednesday’s stakeholder engagement with road contractors.

“In 2021, we will be certifying all quarry and loam pit owners… When you have your materials, it will have to follow our specification,” the Chief Works Officer said. 

This certification also applies to sandpit owners, he said. 

Mr. Vaughn’s statement followed concerns raised by contractors that owners of loam and quarry pits sometimes short-change them by providing subpar materials.

To further combat this issue, Mr. Vaughn announced that the Ministry of Public Works would form a stronger partnership with the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) since that authority in most cases, has oversight responsibilities for the pits.

Some of the expected outcomes from strengthening collaboration are regular visits to the pits and subsequent inspections. 

Minister, Hon. Bishop Juan Edghill spearheaded Wednesday’s engagement and addressed the contractors concerns on many other matters.

Concerning complaints that the respective Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs) ought to do their part to prevent degradation to roads, Minister Edghill outlined steps he intends to take.

“I want it to be prepared, a letter to the Minister of Local Government advising NDCs that when they clear drains, the placing of silt, mud and other debris on the road shoulders compromise the integrity of roads,” the Minister added.

Additionally, Minister Edghill requested that the unpriced bill of quantities for roadworks be conspicuously displayed within the communities the projects are to be executed. 

On the subject of road designs, it was relayed that the Ministry has rolled out new ones which feature stabilised shoulders to ensure structural integrity.

Finally, on the issue of variations to the scope of works, some contractors said they were sometimes unsure whether to proceed with works while awaiting confirmation of variation.

On this matter, contractors were asked to rely on their site books which are supposed to have proper documentation of any project variations. 

It was explained that contractors do not have to wait on word from the Public Works Ministry because any agreement to variation is listed in the site book. 

Minister within the Ministry of Public Works, Hon. Deodat Indar and technical personnel within the Ministry also participated in Wednesday’s discussions, following which the officials held one-on-one sessions with the contractors. The meeting was held at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre. 

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