Jam contractor general asks PNP to stop CHEC talks

| 11/01/2012

Jamaica-Highway-20001 (245x300)_0.jpg(CNS):Jamaica’s contractor general is calling on the new People's National Party government to stop the negotiations with China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) over the US$600-million North-South Link Highway 2000, which involves granting a 50-year toll concession to the company. Greg Christie has raised concerns about the project and sought a meeting with the new administration to canvass its opinion on recommendations and "strong objections” to the former government’s intention to award the contract to CHEC without a competitive tender. The Beijing based firm, which is also in negotiations with the Cayman government to build the George Town cruise port, has been at the centre of a public contract controversy in Jamaica.

"The OCG continues to maintain that the current negotiations between NROCC (National Road Operating and Constructing Company Limited) and CHEC should be terminated forthwith, and that the said transaction, irrespective of its structure, should be subjected to a transparent and international competitive bidding process whereby value for money can be secured for the benefit of the people and taxpayers of Jamaica," Greg Christie said Monday, the Jamaica Observer has reported.

The contractor general said his office was amazed and alarmed that the former JLP administration was persisting with what could be another controversial sole-source contract award to CHEC, despite ongoing public controversies, audits and OCG investigations which have arisen in consequence of a similar sole-source award of the US$400-million JDIP contract to the same company.

The selection of JDIP sub-contractors should be subjected to an OCG-supervised competitive tender process giving his office the ability to better scrutinize the particulars of all such sub-contracts, Christie said.

In a letter to the new prime minister on Friday, her first day in office, Christie said he was ready to meet with Portia Simpson-Miller or a government representative as soon as possible to discuss the issue and learn the “direction” the new administration was prepared to take regarding his recommendations and the PM’s commitment to fight corruption in Jamaica.

Go to Observer article

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Comments (11)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    We the people of Cayman, have a bad habit of giving people good opportunites and chances  after they have been booted out of every other country they have visited or where born in. Will we ever learn?

  2. Anonymous says:

    And do you know what?  The Premier will simply turn a blind eye and go along his own dogmatic, despotic, and demagagogic merry way.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The PRC, through its state controlled entities are the center of 100's of controversies all around the world.  This is standard script and normal operating procedure once they have their foot in the door. 

  4. Dred says:

    Aaaahem. UDP are you watching? Does this all sound too familiar.


  5. TheTruthWillOut says:

    Can CNS please attach the link to their June article to this comment(or rerun the article as well) which covered the announcement by GLF/Royal Construction that they were willing to modify their proposal to include Spotts and Turtle Farm. Caymanians need to see the facts, especially the one with regards to GLF not wanting control of the upland. It is specifically stated in that article that the upland would be controlled by the Port Authority. Add this to the fact that the payback for the GLF/Citibank financing is 25 years vs. 50 years for CHEC, and to the fact that the GLF plan had only 15,000-20,000 sq ft of retail vs. 100,000+ sq ft of "George Town Merchant Killing" retail and even the blind(and hopefully the FCO) can see there is no comparison.  

    • Dred says:

      That would be good information to see again what GLF had proposed againt what CHEC is offering.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Marl road in Jamaica says CHEC was in the process of buying land in expensive part of Kingston to erect apartment building to exclusively house their management staff (apparently no plans to rent from Jamaican landlords, thank you very much), as they were planning to make Jamaica the base for their Caribbean operations.  Me thinks they might now be rethinking this and perhaps might thinking of moving to Cayman instead since they seem to be so warmly welcomed here by certain powers?

  7. Anonymous says:

    At least they took their blinders off.

  8. anonymous says:

    Interesting article….no wonder the local Cayman Contractors have been against these folks. If the jamaicans think they are not transparent well then!

    Those three little words…. "value for money". add them to transparency and things could still get exciting around here….cannot wait to see that play out here with our new FFR agreement with UK.

    Those crazy Sea Captains maybe in fact be correct and Red Bay may indeed be better VFM for Cayman overall. wow. I am still for george town until I see if the EIA is good or bad but built with our local chaps.

    • Anonymous1 says:

      Bobo, the OCG ( Office of Contractor General) is not a building contractor office nor is it a stumbling block to construction. The intended purpose of that office is to channel all public contracts, whether blue-collar or white-collar projects, over a certain amount, with it having an oversight of all bids goingthrough this office. It is not an office for construction contractors or developers who has a personal axe to grind whether personal or political. It is not an office as I understand it to be, that was set up as a political machinery by any group or party but to be impartial to all and be answerable to the people of the country. Yes, such an office would be good for us, but again how that would it work here is another thing with our internal tribalism, personal individualism and greed. The problem that the OCG has with CHEC's contract is not about Chinese vs. Jamaicans but it is about the manner in which it was awarded which is similar to what is in the pipeline here if it goes as planed. At the end of the day, it might well be that CHEC would be the ones who these contracts are awarded to but until it goes to public tender, no one knows how well any of these contracts are value for money.