Prime Minister Andrew Holness has defended the government’s decision not to put the project to tender the project to construct the Momtego Bay Bypass, which would have allowed Jamaican contractors to bid for the job.
The Prime Minister explained to the House of Representatives on Tuesday that China Harbour Engineering Company had already done the designs for the project as the government had initially planned to take a loan from the China Exim Bank to fund the roadway.
He said, after it was decided that the Jamaican Government would fund the project, it would have been unfair to take China Harbour off the job, adding that finding a new contractor would take more time – “a year or probably a little more than a year, with the best effort” – and wold therefore have caused further delays.
Opposition Leader Mark Golding strongly disagreed with the Prime Minister, arguing that, by foregoing the tender process, the government was not allowing for price discovery and could not guarantee it would get value for money.
He also dismissed the suggestion that it would be unfair to go to tender after China Harbour had done the designs.
“I have no difficulty with Jamaica paying them a fair amount for the value of the preparatory works that they have already done, but just to give this foreign multi-national the project at some negotiated price, arrived at behind closed doors, without allowing other intersted and qualified contractors to bid for the work provides no transparency and no assurance of Jamaica getting value for taxpayers money,” he declared.
LINK ORIGINAL: RJR News