Consultancy firm on Three Friends project had been advanced $15m by contractor

The consultancy firm which has been hired in relation to the construction of the Three Friends pump station on the Essequibo Coast had been advanced $15m by the contractor for the project.
This had been disclosed by PPP/C MP Juan Edghill on Friday and confirmed on Saturday by Head of the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority, Frederick Flatts.

The document setting out the advance.

According to Edghill, the consultancy firm, C.B & Associates Inc., received a letter of credit of $15M from Samaroo Investment, the contractor on this project, to secure his bid and was subsequently awarded the consultancy services for this project.
Said Edghill, Therefore, a consultant is supervising a contractor on a project whose financial security is dependent upon that contractor,” Edghill had claimed.
The arrangement would be highly suspect and would pose a clear conflict of interest. It is unclear whether there woul be a move to have the consultant removed from the contract following the revelation.

In his response on Saturday on the question of the contractor and consultant,Flatts stated:

“It is true that the contractor had issued a line of credit to the consultant on January 25, 2017. Please note that our advertisement for both the consultancy service and the construction works was made on May 21, 2017,
about four months later. The source of the line of credit issued to CB and Associates Inc. was completely missed by the evaluators as no financial information was requested or required of the consultants and therefore was not a part of the evaluation criteria. The evaluators therefore did not evaluate the line of credit or its source”.

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