The Ministry of Communities is making efforts to recoup $1.234 million in overpayment made to Compustruct Engineering Inc. for the construction of the Plaisance Market Tarmac.
Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Communities, Emil McGarrel, explained that in accordance with the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) advice to take the necessary actions to bring closure to the matter, a letter was sent by the ministry to the contractor on February 3, 2017.
McGarrel explained that the letter called on Compustruct Engineering Inc. to respond to the ministry’s call for repayment by February 14, 2017 or face the consequence of legal action.
After February 14, 2017, the matter will be forwarded to the Attorney General’s Chamber for legal recourse. McGarrel explained that this was also indicated in the letter to Compustruct Engineering Inc.
The contract for the construction of the market tarmac provided for an asphaltic concrete surface along with shoulders and reinforced concrete curb.
A physical verification of the works was carried out on August 27, 2012 and based on the measurements taken on site and calculations, it was found that the construction did not conform to the Bill of Qualtities hence the overpayments.
The matter remained unresolved as at July, 2015 and was addressed in the Auditor General’s 2015 report. Since then, it has been engaging the attention of the PAC and was again raised at a meeting of the committee on Monday, February 07 in the Parliament Chambers.
McGarrel, supported by staff of the ministry and of the Georgetown Mayor and City Council, appeared before the PAC to provide information on the matter and other information revealed in the Auditor General’s 2015 report, relating to the Ministry of Communities.
According to McGarrel, efforts to bring closure by the matter have been delayed by the contractor’s requests for a re-measurement of the market tarmac.
The PS explained that the ministry had sought to facilitate the re-measurement by engaging the Auditor General’s Office but decided against facilitating a third request from the contractor.
McGarrel explained that the Auditor General disagreed with the last request on the grounds that at such prior efforts, the contractor failed to send a representative.
According to McGarrel, the Auditor General’s office felt that a third re-measurement would not change the findings and as such the contractor has since been advised to make the repayment of face legal proceedings.