Photo Credit: Melissa Edwards/BVI Platinum News
St. Lucian firm FDL Consult Inc. was issued a $450,000 contract, without the use of the tender process, to conduct consultancy work on the national sewerage project, Hon. Mark Vanterpool, Minister of Communications and Works disclosed.
“The answer is no. The consultancy in regard to works linked to the national sewerage project was not tendered. Cabinet made a decision based on the time urgency, familiarity, qualifications and with the approval of CDB (Caribbean Development Bank), to engage a company called FDL Consult Inc.,” he said in response to questions in the House of Assembly last week.
He continued, “A company who was overseeing the previous CDB projects in the Territory to review complete designs and project manage the national sewerage project in the areas of Cane Garden Bay, East End/Long Look and the completion of certain aspects of the works in Road Town at this time.”
After further questions by Hon. Andrew Fahie, Opposition Leader, Minister Vanterpool sought to correct previous information published by the government on the contract.
“Please clarify for me, how do we move from a project that was about to start, where we had loan funding for East End/ Long Look project, back to a study in order to start it again…And where $8m was taken from it to go to the ports project and now we are moving from being ready to go back into a study,” Hon. Fahie asked.
Minister Vanterpool in response said, “I never used the word study in my answer…We had a project that was designed and we asked them to review the project. They are not studying anything…Complete the designs to make sure everything was set in certain areas that were needed.”
He further added, “And the CGB project needed a new design, that we had drafted, and they had to come in and complete them; and then project manage the national sewerage project in the areas of CGB, East End/Long Look and completion of certain aspects of Road Town.”
The Works Minister is hopeful that works will restart soon.
“We are getting ready to continue these projects as soon as possible in the next few weeks…and the member is correct— funds ($8m) that were available were used from the sewerage project to the ports…CDB has approved additional funding under their recent loan funding and therefore, the process we are going through involves CDB.”
Hon. Vanterpool said, “They (FDL) are not studying anything more…They are reviewing the designs to the satisfaction of CDB…then go forward with the project.”
Early last month in a press release, the government said that it had signed a contract for consultancy services for the national sewerage programme in the sum of $408,000.00.
According to the press release, the contract was signed in May with FDL Consult Inc. to render services which include: review of preliminary designs for the sewerage systems at Cane Garden Bay; review of the existing designs for East End; review of the recommendations for lift stations for the Road Town Sewer network; conduct all engineering services necessary to update any design gaps; and contract administration and construction supervision.