Gov’t will not be responsible for defects in airport project – works ministry

Amid concerns that the contract with Chinese company CHEC for the Timehri airport expansion will leave the government responsible for any defects, the Works Ministry today said that this was not the case.

It asserted that China Harbour Engineering Company will be responsible for the defects. The issue was raised in a recent letter to Stabroek News by analyst Ramon Gaskin.

The ministry’s press release follows:

The Ministry of Public Works takes this opportunity to clarify some misconstrued information that have been circling in the public domain as it relates to the contract inked between the Ministry and China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC).

They are:

1. Naming a Government Engineer for the project;

2. The construction of Section 1.13 of the International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC) document in reference to its terms and conditions;

3. And performance security being 10 percent of contract sum.

Firstly, while an engineer is not named in the contract, those arrangements have been taken care of administratively; and an engineer has been identified and appointed.

In addition to that, Section 1.13 [Compliance with Laws] sub-clause (b) states: “The Contractor shall give all notices, pay all taxes, duties and fees, and obtain all permits, licenses and approval, as required by the Laws in relation to the design, execution and completion of the Works and the remedying of any defects; and the Contractor shall indemnify and hold the Employer harmless against and from the consequences of any failure to do so.”

Since the Government of Guyana will pay all taxes, duties and fees, and obtain all permits, licenses and approval regarding the (1) design, (2) execution and completion and (3) remedying any defects during the defects liability period. Hence the reason for interchanging names(Contractor and Employer) in the above clause as stated in the signed contract.

This section provides, in the view of the Public Works Ministry, a CORRECT interpretation which clearly illustrates that Government is not responsible for curing any defects.

Additionally, Section 11 of the FIDIC document explicitly deals with Defects Liability, whereby it is very clear that CHEC and not the Government is responsible for remedying defects during the Defects and Liability period.

Furthermore, it is a norm in large contracts for the performance bond to be 10% of the contract sum.

The Ministry is deeply concerned that misinterpretation of the facts misleads the public, and strongly encourages the public to become their own investigative journalists to determine for themselves what is fact from fiction.


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