K&P Project Management, the company that owes the Region Six administration a bulldozer after failing to satisfy the terms of a contract, has indicated that it will refund the region the money.
In a letter in yesterday’s Stabroek News, K&P’s Managing Director Terry Thomas stated that rather than continuing to try to source the equipment, the company is now in the process of refunding the money paid. It was reported that the region paid $15 million to have the bulldozer procured.
On Monday, the Regional Executive Officer (REO) of Region Six, Kim Williams-Stephen, when she appeared before the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC), related that K&P, after being granted an extension to supply the right bulldozer, had failed to do so. She said that the region was moving to claim a bond that was instituted, however, it was revealed that there was no new contractual arrangement between the two parties.
K&P reportedly delivered a bulldozer to the region in December, 2017, however, it did not fit the specifications of the contract, having been a D4 bulldozer, rather than a D3. The company, in response, had said that it was thought that because the specification was one above the one required it would be accepted. It was acknowledged that the company erred in not seeking the region’s approval for procuring a machine of a different specification.
The machine, for which the region signed off, had been returned to the company.
“We were committed to supply the specification and were in the process of acquiring same, but we are not confident that we would be treated fairly. This perception is based on the bias in this matter and our perception of unfair treatment. We are therefore in the process of refunding the sums collected as payment for this equipment. We would however keep our commitment to continue to contribute to the country’s development,” said Thomas.
In the correspondence, Thomas responded to another letter published in the Stabroek News by Region 6 RDC Councillor Haseef Yusuf. He took umbrage to Yusuf’s use of the word “decrepit” to describe the machine provided to the region, stating that that sort of language was “deliberately used to influence the public’s perception negatively.”
“I do wish to inform Mr. Yusuf as well as any other stakeholder that the bulldozer was manufactured in 2002 and cannot be considered as junk or decrepit. Mr. Yusuf did not have access to this information neither is he competent in this field to make a pronouncement. We have had this equipment examined by MACORP who is the authorized dealer for Caterpillar equipment in Guyana. They have found that there was need for minor repairs and replacements. The impression that the equipment is decrepit is not evident and cannot stand,” the letter said.
Thomas added that the equipment was sold with a one-year service warranty that would have been executed by MACORP.
According to Irfaan Ali, Chairman of the PAC, a special investigation done by the Auditor General revealed a number of “unsatisfactory features” on the first bulldozer, including a damaged chassis belt, rough welding and fabrication works, and a damaged rubber mount, vial and cable.