The Indian construction firm Fedders Lloyd is now blacklisted by the World Bank for procurement violations and, as such, it has been barred by the Indian Government from executing the construction of the Specialty Hospital in Guyana and other such contracts until 2020.
Indian High Commissioner to Guyana, Venkatachalam Mahalingam, told INews this morning that the Specialty Hospital project has not been closed by the Indian Government. However, a new tendering process will have to be undertaken to find a suitable company to execute this project.
As such, the Specialty Hospital project in Guyana has now been put on a hold until that process is completed and the Indian Government remains committed to working with the Government of Guyana to ensure that citizens benefit from improved health services and more, the Indian High Commissioner stated.
He reiterated that his Government was not the one that blacklisted Fedders Lloyd for any procurement violation but that it was the World Bank hence his administration’s move to bar the firm from participating in the bidding/ tendering of projects like the Specialty Hospital in Guyana.
Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, a short while ago announced at a post-cabinet press briefing that the Indian High Commission via a letter had notified the Guyana Government that it has barred Fedders Lloyd from participating in certain projects until 2020.
Harmon noted that this has resulted in the construction of the Specialty Hospital in Guyana being put on hold since the hospital was to be constructed through a Line of Credit from New Delhi, India.
He explained that a the Indian Government has advised that this long-awaited project be put out to tender so as to have another Indian contractor selected to execute it.
The APNU+AFC administration had selected Fedders Lloyd for this project when the first contractor had been dismissed. The government had argued that Fedders Lloyd was the number two bidder and would have completed the construction of the Specialty Hospital at the same price which the first contractor had bid for.
Subsequently it was made known that Fedders Lloyd’s bid had been rejected during the first tendering process because it did not fit the requirements for being a qualified bidder.
The PPP/C had on numerous occasions raised complaints and objections as to the APNU+AFC coalition’s selection of Fedders Lloyd being hand-picked to execute the Specialty Hospital project especially since the Indian firm during the first tendering process shared a relationship with current Vice President and Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan.
Initially, it was contractor Surendra Engineering Company Limited who had been selected under the former administration to construct the Specialty Hospital but due to multiple reasons this contractor had been dismissed from the project.
Surendra Engineering Company Limited was subsequently sued by the Guyana Government for over $950M.
Meanwhile, Public Health Minister Dr George Norton told INews today that the fact that Fedders Lloyd has now been blacklisted and barred from such projects will delay the process of having Guyana benefit from improved health services which the Specialty Hospital would be offering.
However, he noted that this does not mean that the hospital will not be constructed, and that the Government of Guyana will execute projects from firms/ companies which meet the international requirements from entitities such as the World Bank.
“It is not anything that we can’t speed up if need be…I don’t see that as being a humbug. The procurement violations are from World Bank and Fedders Lloyd has been blocked by World Bank so we have to put out a new tender,” Minister Norton added. (Kristen Macklingam)