Contracting firm BK International Inc. yesterday denied the Audit Office’s finding that it was overpaid for works on the new access road to the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA), while claiming that it was still owed for the project.
The report of a performance audit conducted by the Auditor Office, which was tabled in the National Assembly on Thursday, said that although only 1.7 km of the required 2.5 km roadway was constructed, the company received $615.647 million, representing an overpayment of $195.118 million.
It also found that the project was marred by numerous delays and unauthorised works. The audit covered the period 1st January, 2011 to 15th September, 2016.
However, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the BK Group of Companies Brian Tiwarie, in a statement issued yesterday, said that the findings and the reportage based on it, including in the Stabroek News, were incorrect. “We categorically deny any claim of our company being overpaid. In fact, up to now the Ministry of Public Infrastructure owes money to the BK International Inc. for the said road project,” it quoted him as saying.
BK acknowledged that only 1.7 km of the required 2.5 km of roadway was complete, but said that the road diversion in place during works had caused serious disruptions with GTT’s cables, and in an attempt to have the work completed at an early date, damage was caused to the cables. As a result, it said BK International was taken to court.
“This caused the company a sizable amount of money as BK had to involve two sets of lawyers to defend the case. It is regrettable that up to the time of writing, the Ministry of Public infrastructure and GTT were unable to have this matter settled,” the statement said.
“Contrary to the audit report and the “sensational” news items, because of the diversion, the delays and the interruptions…the Ministry of Infrastructure and the government are now owing BK International,” it added.