Delays, inferiority will not be tolerated – Edghill tells contractors

Minister of Public Works Juan Edghill

With a long history of contractors hired by the Government for various infrastructural works doing a sloppy job, Public Works Minister Juan Edghill has sounded a warning that such actions will no longer be tolerated.

In fact, he warned contractors that they will not benefit from a second contract under the Government if it is found that their work is not up to standards.

He made the remarks during a meeting with road contractors at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre on Wednesday.

“I want a new culture, whether it is a little village street, a major highway or an interior road, the quality of our work must be admired and when examined, must past the test not just at the lab, but the test of appreciation of the people who you are providing that service,” Minister Edghill said.

“A contract is not a loan for you to contract other business. A contract is to get the job done, ” he added.

Minister Edghill also voiced his displeasure that projects which had been signed off on the last day of 2019 under that year’s budget have, to date, not started.

In fact, the Minister said he will inform other Ministries about contractors with delayed works since some contractors may stall works in one area to complete another job in another Ministry.

Another area of focus for the Ministry is ensuring that there is value for money spent. Minister Edghill said contractors and project engineers will face consequences for substandard work as the Ministry will be paying attention to quality control.

“Collusion between contractors and project engineers and project managers will not be tolerated,” he said.

The Ministry will also be moving towards the timely resolution of disputes so that projects could advance.

Minister Edghill explained, “you can’t have development being put on hold because of some problem with design, engineer and contractor can’t agree on the way forward.”
He reiterated his position that Government must facilitate the country’s development, rather than put up stumbling blocks that frustrate the process.

“Every complaint will be looked at with the level of seriousness it requires and if there is culpability, the necessary action will be taken.”

In their defence, some of the contractors expressed that there are some issues that might lead to the delays or inferiority in their work.

A contractor argued that if there is no cooperation from residents and the Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs), then the roads will not last.

He explained that the NDC would take heavy vehicles into small street to clean drains, and destroy the new roads. He added that they would dump the waste at the corner of the roads which would cause it to break away.