BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, May 27, 2019 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – All contracts for Government projects are awarded after an open and transparent tendering process, as stipulated by the Procurement and Contract (Administration) Act, 2012.
That assertion was made by Director of Public Works Department, Mr. Cromwell Williams, while appearing as a guest on the Thursday, May 23, 2019, edition of “Straight Talk” on WINNFM 98.9, with host the Honourable Ian Patches Liburd.
Mr. Williams’ statement came in light of recent public comments that seek to suggest there is an unfair advantage in awarding contracts for major capital projects in St. Kitts and Nevis.
The director cited the provisions of the Procurement and Contract (Administration) Act which, in part, seeks to simplify, clarify, modernize and make transparent procurement by the Government and more particularly to (a) require public competition in the procurement process except to the extent that the circumstances or size of the procurement makes it impracticable; (b) foster and encourage broad participation in the procurement process by persons in St. Christopher and Nevis and, when required under international agreement, to persons outside the Federation; (c) provide for increased public confidence in the Government procurement process by maintaining safeguards to ensure its integrity, fairness, accountability, transparency and good governance; (d) ensure fair and equitable treatment of all persons who participate in the procurement process; and (e) provide increased economy in procurement activities and to maximize to the fullest extent practicable the purchasing value of the money of the Government.
There are several major capital projects currently being undertaken in St. Kitts, including the Old Road Bay Road and the Island Main Road Rehabilitation projects.
These projects, according to Mr. Williams, commenced after an open tendering processes.
“Anyone could have come to Public Works and pay for the tender documents and submit a tender,” Mr. Williams said.
In explaining the bidding process, Mr. Williams stated that contractors are invited to submit their tenders to the Public Works Department in a sealed envelope, which is then placed in a box.
“On the last day when the tender closes everyone is invited to be present and there is a public opening of the tenders [where] the amount that you bid is read out aloud, and after that there is the tender evaluation which is done by Public Works. That tender evaluation would then be forwarded for an award to be made,” Mr. Williams added.
It has become a common practice of the Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris-led Team Unity administration to host public signing ceremonies for Government contracts.
Most recently on March 14, 2019, nine sub-contracts were signed publicly by local contractors to facilitate work on the Island Main Road Rehabilitation project up to Saddlers Village.
The actual paving of the island road is being carried out by Surrey Paving and Aggregate Co. Ltd. Surrey Paving’s bid was accepted after a tendering process that saw a total of three bids.
Additionally, work on the $31.8 million-dollar Old Road Bay Rehabilitation project is being undertaken by Rock and Dirt Construction Ltd, whose bid was selected from among a pool of five tenders.