Guyana Govt to settle debt with Barbados security firm

The state-of-the-art forensic laboratory

Incomplete forensic lab

The billion-dollar state-of-the-art forensic laboratory will soon become operational, once Government honours its US$32,524 in outstanding payments to a Barbados Security Firm, IED, for the completion of the works.

Based on a request made by Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan, Cabinet approved that the sum of money be paid to the company so it can complete its work on the forensic laboratory, which was commissioned since 2014, but is yet to be equipped with the necessary instruments to conduct basic DNA and gun residue testing which are internationally recognised.

The state-of-the-art forensic laboratory

Minister of State Joseph Harmon told reporters that once the payment is made, the company would be required to begin the upgrades which should be completed within a month of commencement.

The firm was responsible for installing the security system at the laboratory by way of a contract in 2012 and providing consultation oversight in 2013, during phase one of the project, but this never materialised because of the outstanding payments owed by Government.

The firm will therefore be required to complete its work on the laboratory, along with completing the training of persons who are going to operate the facility.

The technical and electrical issues that were discovered a while back will also be rectified as soon as the contractors return to work.

Questioned on whether any form of testing is being carried out at the laboratory currently, Minister Harmon said he is not aware if testing of any sort is being done.

He explained that based on the information that Minister Ramjattan presented to Cabinet recently, for the laboratory to become fully operational and functional, the owed monies needed to be paid to the security firm so that they can complete the work.

The Forensic Laboratory, once completed, is expected to significantly boost the capability of the Guyana Police Force to solve crimes.


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