Udecott needs to restart the PoSGH auction process

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A section of the Port of Spain General Hospital Central Block construction area. Photo by Sureash Cholai

The opposition calls on the president of the Urban Development Corporation (Udecott), Noel Garcia, to relaunch the bidding process for a package of works for the completion of the construction project of the central block of the general hospital of Port of Spain, amid reports of a “glitch” in the e-tender system.

Speaking at UNC’s weekly press conference on Sunday at the Office of the Leader of the Opposition in Port of Spain, Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal said a new process bidding was the only right thing to do.

Media reports that there were only two successful bidders by the May 20 deadline set by Udecott. However, the contractors complained that they were informed that a technical glitch had allowed a third bidder to access the online bidding platform after the deadline.

Moonilal said he was not convinced this was a problem.

“Nobody else had this problem except the third bidder. Yet they had a problem and the proposal did not arrive on the electronic platform.

“So the first two (tenders), which Udecott opened and you saw the amounts and the data of those two bidders, now the documents of a third bidder have arrived late. So this company could have already known the content of both offers,” Moonilal said. , reiterating that he was not disparaging anyone or any company.

“This deserves a full and independent investigation as there is now the issue that a third bidder appears to have been the successful bidder.”

In March, the company said there had been a $110 million budget increase from $1.1 billion, after the Shanghai Construction Group (SCG) pulled out of the contract deal in a letter. April 8 in Udecott.

On April 19, the offers for the first of the seven lots necessary for the realization of the project were sent.

This package includes the completion of the remaining steelworks, the low wall and the slab. Other lots will include construction works, medical equipment, furniture and ICT equipment.

Moonilal said: “The continuing problems associated with the construction of the central block, which has taken a new turn, really suggests that the project is ruined, the project is mismanaged and there may be further evidence of corruption.

“So the glitch, whatever it was, made no difference. This speaks to a very serious matter.”

Efforts to reach President Udecott Garcia on Sunday for comment were unsuccessful.

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