– RDC concerned over REO’s handling of issue– company wants 60% more to supply smaller bulldozerBy Andrew CarmichaelIt would appear that the Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) administration has signed a contract for the supply of a bulldozer without the required tendering process.This was the conclusion made after documents were produced when the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) met last Thursday.Initially, the National Tender Board had issued a contract to K and P Project Management to supply a D43 Caterpillar bulldozer to the tune of $14.8 million.The company had received $8 million as an advance to mobilise in June last year, but never delivered the equipment until the end of December. The balance was then paid.Subsequently, it was discovered that the bulldozer did not match the specifications stipulated in the contract.After the issue was made public in January of this year, both the Regional Executive Officer (REO), Kim Williams-Stephen and the Regional Chairman, David Armogan held separate press conferences at which they announced that the contract was null and void, since the contractor did not supply what he was contracted to.However, last Thursday when the RDC met, a letter was produced in which the REO submitted a document stating that the very contractor was now contracted to supply a D3 Angle Blade bulldozer.Under the new arrangement, the contractor has until June 13 to deliver the equipment.The REO had written a letter to Councillor Haseef Yusuf accusing him of misrepresenting the facts.Yusuf is quoted in the press as saying that the regional administration failed to secure a bond when the contract was issued.However, the REO produced documents to indicate that the administration has secured a bond.However, Yusuf revealed the document only proved more corruption coming from the REO. “My letter in the press was published on March 17, 2018. This bond is dated March 14, 2018, so it means that this bond is for a new contract… therefore, this does not cover that bulldozer that is sitting out there. There is no bond for that bulldozer,” the Councillor said.Yusuf had in the past questioned what mechanisms were in place for the administration to get back the almost $15 million of taxpayers’ money that it had paid to K and P Project Management.Meanwhile, Regional Vice Chairman Dennis De Roop, weighing in on the issue, noted that there should have been a bond so that the administration could recoup the $14.8 million.Addressing the issue of the bond under the new contract, he pointed out that the performance guarantee, which has been issued by Caricom General Insurance Company Inc, expired on March 10.Speaking to reporters on the issue, Regional Chairman Armogan said the contractor should not have been paid unless the bulldozer was certified.He said the RDC was now recommending that a manager’s cheque be deposited to serve as a bond if the contractor failed to deliver after receiving some of his money.Meanwhile, in a letter issued by the CEO of K and P Project Management, Terry Thomas, he said the company could only source the specified equipment at a price that is more than 60 per cent of the agreed contracted price.