Regional Executive Officer for Region Six Veerasammy Ramayya yesterday debunked claims made earlier by Region Six Chairman David Armogan that he has been delaying the signing of vouchers and causing contractors to threaten to withhold their services.
Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Ramayya said he was not to be blamed for the delays. He explained that after contractors would have completed their work, members of the Works Committee have to visit the various sites and inspect the work that was done. It is only after the Works Committee signs off on a job as satisfactorily completed, he said, that he would sign the voucher for payment.
He said that at present, he was waiting on three members of the Works Committee to sign off on work, barring him from signing the vouchers.
Armogan had held a press conference earlier this month during which he complained bitterly that Ramayya was not available to sign vouchers since he was frequently out of office.
Armogan had stressed that he had been highlighting this issue for the past few months, but had not seen any changes. He explained that if the vouchers are not signed on time, persons cannot be paid on time, making this a major issue.
Armogan had also said that because the vouchers are delayed, contractors had threatened to withhold their services.
Additionally the Regional Chairman had highlighted an affected project, ‘Weeding and Cleaning’ where the region keeps the drainage and irrigation canals clean. He explained that for a few months they have been experiencing problems with awarding contracts, mainly because the Tender Board has not been meeting as regularly as it should.
He explained that Ramayya, who is the chairman of the Tender Board, had told him that one difficulty he faced, concerning awarding contracts, was getting evaluators to get the work done. However, Armogan said he had spoken with the chairman of the Central Tender Board in Georgetown to approve a set of evaluators for the region as soon as possible.
He urged that the Tender Board meets in a timely manner to ensure that projects are being awarded, so that the work in the region can speed up, since the May/June rainy season is fast approaching.