$2.5M project for Tuschen NDC never executed – Chairman

first_img…blames RDC for poor supervision, loss of moneyThe Tuschen-Uitvlugt Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) has lost over half of its yearly subvention for 2018, because one of five projects it awarded was never executed, due to suspected negligence on the part of regional officials to monitor the operation.Guyana Times understands that that NDC is usually allocated a $4 million subvention for the year, and the Regional Administration would control the flow of this money to mobilise the respective projects.Chairman of this NDC, Vishal Ambedkar, explained that while four projects were completed, a contract was last December awarded for the fifth project — construction of a shed and concrete base at the NDC compound, to the tune of $2.5 million — to C King Construction, but those works were never initiated.“In 2018, the NDC would have identified five projects to be done from our subvention grant, which is given by Central Government. Of those five projects, four of them were completed, and one was incomplete. That one was awarded, and the contract was signed on the 14th December, 2018. However, that project was never realised,” Ambedkar explained.He said that that project entailed construction of a shed and concrete base within the compound of the NDC, to house a few pieces of mechanical equipment which the Council possesses.“This project was for the construction of a shed and concrete base at the NDC compound. We have a mini excavator and a tractor, and we were planning to buy a tractor-driven attachment to maintain recreational grounds and school compounds. These (pieces of) equipment need to be stored in an enclosed area, so that they’re not exposed to the elements,” Ambedkar explained.This publication understands that the NDCs are responsible only for signalling what projects should be done. Thereafter, the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) would tender and award the operation to a contracting company.“The input that the NDC had in this project was basically to identify the work to be done. Everything else falls under the responsibility of the RDC, where it is monitored and payments are distributed,” Ambedkar explained.He said that, on one occasion, the contractor turned up at the site and indicated that works would commence shortly. However, it has been over three months and the individual never returned to undertake the works.“During the project, we would check to see if the project was done in keeping with the contract. Nothing was ever done at the site. The contractor came into the NDC and he told us he was going to start (working on) the following Monday. We have never seem him back after then,” Ambedkar clarified.The NDC is of the view that poor supervision on the part of the regional officers, who have responsibility to monitor the execution of the project, is to be blamed for this situation. He said the NDC has sent several pieces of correspondence to the RDC, indicating what has transpired, but to no avail.He added that it is extremely worrying, since that amount of money is more than half of the NDC’s yearly subvention, and cannot roll over to the next year if works are not completed.Asked if another agency could be given the contract to execute the works, Ambedkar said he was told that “a cheque was already prepared” for the initial contractor.“We feel that the regional officers would have failed to monitor and supervise this project properly. The NDC would now be seeing a loss of $2.5 million, which is more than half of our funds. We sent letters asking why this project wasn’t started since January, February and March. We don’t get a response unless we visit the office,” he clarified.Ambedkar believes the system is flawed, in the sense that the NDCs are capable of handling the works and disbursing monies for the projects. He is convinced that closer attention would be paid to what is done, as well as to hiring contractors who are efficient and trustworthy, if the NDCs are allowed to be directly responsible for executing their projects.The Chairman stated, “In my opinion, I think the system that is used is to implement these projects needs to be changed, where the projects are monitored and the allocation of payments should be done directly by the NDC. Right now, the funds do not come directly to the NDC. Our district will be losing $2.5 million, and it’s not the fault of the NDC.”last_img

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