Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves. (iWN file photo)

The firm whose letter of objection triggered a Caribbean Development Bank review and cancellation of financing of a government projectwon contracts under the same tendering process, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves noted on radio Sunday.

“Bally and Bally complains, but the same tendering process, which is supposed to be so polluted, they have done a tremendous amount of work already,” he said.

They are doing one right now in Bequia on the Bequia Community High School. They did one under the BNTF, a big one up at Cottage in Fancy with the road, linking Cottage with the main area of Fancy. They did work at German and English Gutter,” the prime minister said.

“So, the point is this, how is it, all of a sudden, the same Tenders Board, something is wrong or some undue influence. All the contracts, whether it is CDB project or a World Bank project or a European Union project, Taiwanese funded, government-funded, you  have somebody who is evaluating the bids, an independent entity which is evaluating the bids, you hear me? And who will also do the design of the project and who would supervise it,” Gonsalves further said.

After the contract for the CDB-funded “Yarabaqua River Defence” project was awarded to Reliable Construction Ltd., whose bid was $1,421,576, Bally and Bally Investment, an unsuccessful bidder, complained, saying that the winning firm did not meet the criteria.

In a Sept. 14, 2018 letter to the CDB, Bally and Bally had pointed out that among the criteria for the award of the contract are that the bidder must meet minimum experience requirements in the key activities of gabion wall construction, reinforced concrete construction, and river training.

In the letter, Cameron Balcombe, managing director of Bally and Bally Investments, said:

“I [am] confident, from my own knowledge and inquiries, that Reliable Construction Limited has not done any Gabion basket or river training works of that magnitude or at all in this State or elsewhere to even qualify under the assessment as substantially responsive.

“Therefore, there has either been a false declaration made in their forms or unlawful and unfair intervention by someone of influence on their behalf.”

Gonsalves, speaking on radio on Sunday, said that when the CDB conducted its review, they felt that Reliable Construction Ltd. should not have been granted the contract “on the basis, I have been advised that they did not have the experience and so on to do it, but that’s not a view which is shared by other people”.

He noted that Reliable Construction had not commented on the development.

Gonsalves said:

“If Reliable feel that they won the contract fair and square, never mind what the review says, what their lawyer may say? You see the multiple implications? And I was waiting for somebody to identify that the higher up person who was supposed to have used undue influence was Ralph. Eh? So that they would help me in my retirement years,” he said, alluding to a lawsuit.

4 replies on “Disgruntled firm also won contracts — PM”

  1. Ronald Paul American author, physician, and retired politician who served as the U.S. Representative for Texas’s 22nd congressional district had this to say, quote: “When one gets in bed with government, one must expect the diseases it spreads.”

    Our Prime Minister appears to be aghast at the fact that we are asking questions so another question for our Prime Minister is this. What is the law in place that governs the Tenders Board decision during their decision making process? According to Tacitus in “The Annals of Imperial Rome” “The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.”
    https://books.google.co.uk/books/about/The_Annals_of_Imperial_Rome.html?id=bzHAm7wZM-0C&redir_esc=

    Therefore with the Tenders Board in charge of the responsibility of “compliance” to the CDB perquisite, it is quite staggering to note the behaviour and response of our Prime Minister and his administration, who are now faced with the charge of presumed unethical and underhanded dealings regarding the awarding of the contract to a contractor, who had not met with the required minimum standards needed.

    For the Prime Minister to say, that the disgruntled contractor are right now doing other work, totally misses the point. Moreover such a response from him can only come because he and his administration are indeed hardened in what they do.

    Can they not get it? Their chosen contractor “have not met the required minimum standards”! The administration have thoroughly erred and the CDB have made that much known to them by recalling the funds!

    A further question for our Prime Minister is this. How is his and his administration DUTY OF CARE to us Vincentians being discharged, when they for their part had chosen an unfit contractor to carry out the necessary work?

    American author Wally Lamb, known for writing the novels “She’s Come Undone” and “I Know This Much Is True” wrote, Quote “Power, wrongly used, defeats the oppressor as well as the oppressed.”
    (I Know This Much Is True. Wally Lamb.) Bally and Bally complaints in overcoming their fear, brought to light, what we would otherwise not have known, that we Vincentians were being badly short changed and equally badly let down by an administration who owed us a duty of care.

    Quoting Aung San Suu Kyi in her Freedom from Fear, speech delivered by her in which she tries to define fear in an unusual way, in order to encourage the people of Burma to muster up their courage and enthusiasm against their personal fear and fear of their government. She said, quote; “It is not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it.”

    Let us hope that the peoples of these small islands are beginning to overcome their fear of our government too!

  2. Jolly Green says:

    Mr Ralph Gonsalves you are responsible for the actions of everyone under your command. The decent thing would be for you to resign.

    We need a police enquiry on the matter, now!

  3. Things like this happens in every regime. There are certain entities which I think should be of independent body from any government of the day. When you are a taxpayer, you need to stand up and voiced your concern. At the end of the day, this money has to be repaid and you will see more taxes on flour and sugar.

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