The troubled Specialty Hospital project is now on hold as government’s hand-picked contractor Fedders Lloyd has been barred by India from participating in such contracts until 2020.
The announcement was made this morning by Minister of State Joseph Harmon at a post-Cabinet briefing at the Ministry of the Presidency.
He told reporters that the Indian High Commission had advised the government by letter that Fedders Lloyd had been barred until 2020 because of procurement violations. The hospital is to be built via a Line of Credit from New Delhi.
“So once again the Specialty Hospital is put on hold to select a tenderer”, Harmon told reporters. He said that the Indian government had advised that the project be put out to tender to select another Indian contractor.
The original contractor, Surendra Engineering Company Limited was dismissed from the project by the former PPP/C administration on a variety of grounds. It was later sued by the government for $965m.
The latest development will be seen as a major embarrassment for the APNU+AFC government and particularly the Ministry of Finance which had doggedly stood by the decision to select Fedders Lloyd instead of proceeding to a new tender process. The government had said that it had gone to Fedders Lloyd as it was the number two bidder and would do the project at the same price. However, it was later revealed that Fedders Lloyd’s bid had been thrown out and therefore it was not a qualified bidder.
Objections had also been raised to Fedders Lloyd as it had had a relationship with current Vice President and Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan.