Region 10 ministerial outreach addresses residents’ concerns
DPI, GUYANA, Monday, September 25, 2017
A ministerial outreach was held on Sunday in Region 10 at the New Silver City Secondary School, to afford residents the opportunity to raise and clarify burning issues with government officials.
The team was led by Minister of Finance Winston Jordan, Minister within the Ministry of Communities Valerie Adams Patterson-Yearwood, Members of Parliament Jermaine Figueira and Audwin Rutherford, Mayor of Linden Carwyn Holland among other government officials.
Contracts for local contractors
During the meeting with the residents, a number of issues were raised, however, many were concerned that local contractors were being overlooked. They explained that since the year begun, most of the projects for the region have been awarded to contractors outside of the region.
In addressing the issue, Minister Jordan remarked that it was difficult to understand why local contractors are not being awarded contracts for projects in the region. He emphasised that contracts are not awarded on a preference for any specific contracting company.
“Be aware that we are not giving these contracts to people, these contracts are being awarded by a competitive bidding process, we cannot get around that process”, the Minister explained. He noted that the Ministry of Finance has played its role in helping contractors to understand the process and urged them to be cognizant of the rules of the bidding process.
The Minister explained that much of the time contractors are disqualified from the bidding process for not submitting the required documents. Documents such as proof of previous experience on a similar project, Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) certificate, among other things. He added that too often contractors are not making the effort to make themselves eligible to win contracts.
“It is simple things that people are being disqualified for and you might say why we cannot give them a break but we cannot give people a break for simple things that should be in there”, Minister stated.
Regularisation of Andy Ville
Residents of Andy Ville raised the issue that they have been without electricity for a number of years despite receiving promises which were never followed up.
Minister Adams Patterson-Yearwood addressing the issue, told residents that the area they are occupying at the moment is owned by the Lands and Survey Commission. The Minister pointed out that the Ministry of Communities is currently engaging the Commission to receive ownership of the lands to regularise the area.
“Once we get ownership, regularisation will take place. Last Thursday we had a meeting and Andy Ville was on the agenda, so we have not forgotten you, but as I said before, we can only regularise the area when it comes under us”, the Minister explained.
Other issues on the agenda
Other matters discussed at the outreach included the construction of three bus sheds in the Wismar-McKenzie area. This was a pledge made by Minister Jordon.
Residents also pointed out that the Wismar-McKenzie bridge is currently in a terrible condition due to the crossing of big trucks. They called for the cessation of these vehicles plying the bridge as it can lead to its collapse.
Minister Jordan assured the residents that while he cannot address the issue immediately, he will ensure that he briefs Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson on the matter.
By: Isaiah Braithwaite