US bid comes top on schools

| 13/05/2010

Cayman Islands News, Grand cayman Island headline news(CNS): According to documentation seen by CNS, the Central Tenders Committee has already assessed the schools construction management contract and cited Hensel Phelps, a US based firm, as the winning bid. The CTC has been considering a number of bids on the beleaguered school projects for several weeks after Tom Jones International walked off the job last year due to a dispute with government. Although not the cheapest, based on CTC’s points criteria, which looks at past experience, specialist expertise as well as cost, Hensel Phelps scored the most points at 84.20 with a bid of $6.5 million.

Sources close to the issue said that Hensel Phelps appeared to have no visible Caymanian partners but have considerable experience building schools and colleges, as yet however, it appears no contract has been awarded.
The bid was considerably lower than the one submitted by the consortium specially formed by a group of local contractors, which scored 78.43 points with its bid of over $8.5 million. Arch & Godfrey, McAlpine, Hadsphaltic and DECCO had created CCML asa joint venture for the sole purpose of submitting this single bid to provide services for the completion of the Clifton Hunter and John Gray High Schools.
At the time of making the CCML bid Ian Pairaudeau, Managing Director of the McAlpine operation in Cayman, said the successful bidder would be inheriting the project at a critical stage, with an aggressive completion timeline and limited recruiting time.
“The advantage of CCML is that it allows us to pool our locally based professional staff, keep the work in Cayman and avoid the costly time delays of having to recruit a large team from off island. It allows us to provide a more effective solution to the government and a single firm whose exclusive purpose and focus is the satisfactory completion of the schools projects,” he explained.
Work at both the George Town and FrankSound sites ground to a halt last November after TJI entered into a public battle with government over payment for the project, which is now being dealt with by the courts. Hundreds of local workers were laid off as a result of the dispute and the school sites have been largely silent since. Sub contractors Caribbean Mechanical returned to the sites at the end of January in order to undertake maintenance work to prevent deterioration, but neither site has moved forward for some six months and few workers have been re-hired.
The invitation to tender for the construction management contract was issued in February and closed in mid-March but no further announcements about the next step in getting the project back on track have been made. Education Minister Rolston Anglin said last month that he was still hopeful that the schools would be completed by June next year ready for the September 2011 school year.    
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  1. papercaymanian says:

    The real question is not who gets the contract (emotionally I want it kept local) but who is going to manage it from the govt. side. The last contractor has a history low balling then going after massive change orders in order to make profit (ex;recording studio,kitchen worthy of Ritz). Did anyone ever figure out who was signing all the change orders? Are change orders subject to tender review? Is there a monetary limit to change orders on govt.contracts? These question are not rhetorical I would like to know where the loopholes are.  

    • Florence Goring-Nozza says:

       It would help if government would explain why we need an outside experienced  building contractor to construct our local school buildings?

      Reason for my question, We have a list of experienced and professional architects and building contractor firms right here in the Cayman Islands already.

      I’m not jumping the gun just to be critical I’m  just making sure that our local major contractors have been given the opportunity to Bid "First" and that all applicants are properly vetted, while taking into consideration the management issue. 

      What is the  explicit reason for this move.


      • Anonymous says:

        … and in South Africa, and in Cuba, and in Anguilla, and in Antilles, and in Guam…

  2. Wisereef says:

    Check out the web address below.  What international experience does Hansel Phelps have?  From what I see an Embassy in Berlin and a Penitentiary in Curacoa is not substantial enough to merrit our Cayman Islands dollars.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Foreign Contractors gets job, price is 30% cheaper than established local contractor. Is the Foreign Contractor TJI or Hensel Phelps?  If the CIG award the Contract to Hensel Phelps they will either walk off the job or ask for more money. Dont we ever learn?

    • Anonymous says:

      For the record, TJI is a Caymanian company with 60% Caymanian ownership.

  4. Anonymous says:

    There is an on Island history of overseas contractors coming to Cayman and failing, as much as I would like to see this managment contract take the schools to a succesful completion both in timescale and within budget  I very much doubt this will happen. History has a habit of repeating itself particularly in Cayman with the country having to pick up the bill at the end of the day. The Island is has a very different work enviroment to almost anywhere else in the world and there is a learming curve of a couple of years for newcomers to Cayman’s construction industry. The reasons for employing a managment team as opposed to a General Contractor don’t make any sense maybe this could be explained by the governments project managment team, it may be that the people making this decision see a fewyears job security for themselves going down this road. I would like to wish the new managers every succes but for anyone hoping to see their children in these schools on the proposed opening date don’t hold your breath.

  5. Angry Broke Caymanians says:

    Why are we allowing bids from overseas for our tax dollars when the expertise is available locally. Do these folks even have a Trade & Business License or work permits to do the job here?

    I sure would like to see how that scorecard was weighted!!

    Just madness.

    Soon there will be more Angry Broke Caymanians!

    • small contractor says:

      Competition is a good thing.

      What choice would Government have on the John Gray School had Tom Jones not put their bid.

      The only other bidder was McAlpine.  Their original bid was over 25 million dollars higher than Tom Jones’ bid.

      Notably, Tom Jones’ claims of extra cost due to changes adds up to much less than McAlpines original bid.

      Keeping a closed shop only harms Cayman.  These international firms should be invited to all tenders to keep the local boys straight.

  6. Turtle's Head says:

    A good decision not to pander to the Ezzard cronies and go local for the sake of it.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Hensel Phelps is  a reputable construction management company who have worked all over the world including the Caribbean and wherever they have worked they have supported the local workers. If they do bring foreign workers, the workers have always paid their own way and supported whatever local community they are in. I have first hand experience with their work.


    • Anonymous says:

      Yep, Hensel Phelps is known for doing things well.  The schools will get done, they finish projects they start, even if they lose money.  Company reputation is important. Naturally much of the labor has to be local and the materials were largely coming from off the island anyway.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Capital Flight.Our leaders need to realise that it is a strain on the country. Capital not spent in businesses and invested financial institutes is not revolving/helping in our economy.

  9. Anonymous says:

    We don’t need these schools at this time.  The country can’t afford to build them never mind operate the giant facilities.

    Why can’t government sell the Clifton Hunter site to Dr. Shetty.

    John Gray should be put on hold until such time that our finances are back in order.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m sure all the 1100 students and staff of JGHS, who are crammed together with no playing field or recreational space – with all the stresses this creates –  will recognize what a staggeringly stupid and uniformed suggestion this is.

      They have held it together now for over two years, with promise after promise of completion dates, and yet still there is no end in sight – but they know it will still be at least a year away and probably more.

      I hope the parents and the informed public at large are able to recognize this and furthermore recognize that these same staff and students have performed nothing short of miracles, by improving results in the face of such adversity

      Let us get the schools finished as quickly as possible and move on

  10. Anonymous says:

    This is just more of our hard-earned tax money wasted without being kept on the Island.  It is false economy!

  11. one term government says:

    CRAZY…..CRAZY…..if Government sends $6.5M of our dollars to the US during these times they should be put out of office…simple!!

    Common guys…Use some COMMON SENSE!

    • Who pissed him off says:

      CNS, was it you that got the premier making threts about any media reporting false news will be fined $100,000.00

      You keep reporting as your news is always correct and please dont be thretened by the continous big mouth!

  12. Anonymous says:

     Albert Einstein once said "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results". Think about this quote for a second and consider the application with the Schools.  First engage TJI, a foreign company with very little experience of executing projects in Cayman, at a lower price than local experienced contractors, then do the same thing again…….

  13. anonymous says:

    We need these schools badly!!  Thanks to Alden for having the foresight to see the need for them and the need to change the curriculum.  Hence, the GHHS being converted to a Technical School.  I don’t care who they get to do them, just make sure they are done right and yes with all the amenities.  God forbid if a hurricane should come here, where will we shelter the people.  These schools will serve the community well with the upgrades.  Everything else is being upgraded, why not the schools.

    The UDP is no different from the PPM, they are just grazing in a different field.  UDP is for Foreign, PPM is for locals…..and I don’t care for any of the parties.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not sure how the first part of your last paragraph can be reconciled with the following bit about being party-neutral?

  14. Anonymous says:
    Will it not be cheaper for the government to hire his own crew of project managers? Let’s say 10 projects managers at $150,000.00 a year and even a local lawyer on the top of it at $300,000.00! Whatever the way I put it it is still a lot less than 6.5M! And as far as I can see, those schools are at least less than a year to be completed!
    Hopefully the US team will have to pay for their own utilities while working on the island!
    • Anonymous says:

      The CI Government already has a full-time project management division in the form of the Public Works Department……  However, this and other projects do not go through them.  I wonder why??????

    • papercaymanian says:

      Noooooooooooo! The averagefiscal efficiency of any govt. is about 20-30% so if the govt.took over the job currently quoted at 6 or 9 million it would cost the taxpayers 30 or 40 million. Not cool.

  15. Anonymous says:

    WOW!! This government never ceases to amaze me. The hard reality pill to swallow is that i supported them heavily , including money out of pocket for thier campaign. ANother illustration of how they take care of "others" before "thier own". Say what you may but PPM took care of thier supporters when contracts/bids were being awarded.

    I guess that the poker game never changes, just the players do.

    So SAD. Mr. Premier, you and your partys promises have been put to rest by the actions of the UDP to ignore the large number of Caymanian contractors out of work, while bringing in foreigners AGAIN. Where were all these out of towners when West Bay road was being built up by CAYMANIANS not to mention the majority of them were from the West Bay district.

  16. Anonymous says:

    6.5 million for managment….Greedy.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Another dumb decision.

    This will add 6.5 million more to the existing contracts.

    Don’t forget that most of the additional claims made by Tom Jones were claims made by Caribbean mechanical who are still working on site.

    So even if Tom Jones is out of the picture most of the additional costs due to major changes in the contracts still remain.  Those additional costs were around 12 million above the original contracts.   Now you can add to this another 6.5 million.

    Does this make any sense?

  18. Anonymous says:

    Not surprised, wonder who their Caymanian partner is?

    One would have thought that with the state of the economy the job would have stayed local. Humm guess that mean the promise of so many jobs for the locals  are out the window as this company will want to bring their own workers.

    • Anonymous says:

      You’d think with the state of the economy we should pay $2M more? Genius.

      Also if you had read the tender documents from the CTC website you would know that the Construction Manager is not allowed to self-perform work and thus Caymanian Companies will certainly be employed to complete the actual works.

  19. Plato says:

    I just wonder who the Cayman partner will be. Watch this space.

  20. Anonymous says:

    here we go again…..

  21. Anonymous says:

    Bet you that government yet again will be stupid and bring in a contractor from overseas instead of ensuring that the people already on Island will remain employed.

    Caymanians – I hope you don’t sit back any longer and allow government to do this kind of stuff. You are the ones who put them in, you are the ones who can demand the changes.

    Gosh – this government is pissing me off every single day!

    • Anonymous says:

      Ever been to CTC? Not many elected members of government on that panel, just a bunch of Civil Servants and private sector members who ‘follow the rules’ but don’t always think and use common sense.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes I have been to the CTC and yes they do follow the rules. You should be thankful that we have a society where Committees such as the CTC follow rules and ensure compliance with procedures and not their own personal agendas.

        The CTC members consist of an Attorney from one of the Islands top legal firms, a CPA, a vice president at one of the country’s largest organizations, entrepreneurs, project management professional and other very highly qualified individuals. Some have served for over 30yrs under various Administrations.

        People like you do tremendous disservice to this Country by sowing doubts in the minds of the public about the legitimacy and effectiveness of the Government.

        Please reserve your thoughts and comments for a topic which you actually know someting about.

    • Anonymous says:

      Firstly, this is not a Contractor role but a Consturction Management role.

      Secondly, do you think they should pay $2M more to use a consortium of Cayman Companies? Incidentally, I believe, that that consortium would not have been able to use any of their own labourers etc to complete the works, elimination a lot of skilled Caymanians, whereas the overseas company will be able to employ them.

      I think a small management team with vast experience, at a cheaper price, having to emply Caymanians, even though they are from overseas, is a sensible choice.

      • Anon says:

        Interesting to see how an American company can beat the price of a local company/consortium.  Speaks volumes about the costs in Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      Surely "annoying me more and more" every day would sound more decent? (Shame on CNS for printing the original toilet-orientated word.) I was always brought up to never watch a movie you wouldn’t be comfortable viewing with your mother – old fashioned, I know, but, please, let’s keep the language family-friendly on this vital news media. Thank you.

  22. Bobby Anonymous says:

    And I hope to hell they get work permits easier than a Caymanian can!

  23. Sardine says:

    What do we need new schools for? There is plenty of space in the ones we have. What a waste of ourcurrent resources. The existing classrooms can hold at least 50 students no problem and they only have about 30 in them right now. There should be plenty of space in the Primary Schools too for all of Dr. Shetty’s migrant workers dependents. These half built schools should be used for something useful. Maybe a new prison or something? We can use the John Grey site for the womens prison and Clifton Hunter for the mens one. The prisoners can finish the building then we can turn Fairbanks in to Hospital it was meant to be. Prisons is where our focus should be, not schools.


    • Ex-Lobsta Hunta - till Decemba says:

      Yeah and your brain must be the size of a "sardine’s". The schools could serve you good maybe.

      • Just Sayin says:

        "The schools could serve you good maybe."?

        Stones and Glasshouses come to mind.

        • Anonymous says:

          or "Stones and glass houses come to mind" – we could keep the pedantry up all day.


          • Just Sayin says:

            That one is arguable. I am British, we invented the language remember. The caps I’ll give you but glasshouse I’m afraid not. Would you throw stones if you lived in a glasshouse? I actually have all day if you want.

            • Anonymous says:

              I too am British, however whilst I agree that "glasshouse" is a valid word, the origin of the phrase is actually American. It was Benjamin Franklin who stated "Don’t throw stones at your neighbors, if your own windows are glass".

              • Just Sayin says:

                Josiah Franklin, was born at Ecton, Northamptonshire, England on December 23rd 1657. His son, Benjamin, may well have been referring to "glasshouses", who are we to say?

                • Anonymous says:

                  Clutching at straws now? What part of the phrase would imply he was referring to glasshouses? By the way, I am not the original poster. I just joined in half way.

                  • Sardine says:

                    Now now children. The post was meant to be facitious. Get over it.

              • Scrooge McDuck says:

                I thought it was "People who wear grass skirts shouldn’t light campfires." Now I am confused.

  24. Anonymous says:

    I just hope that they get on with it, whoever the successful contractor is. We needs these new schools badly!  They will be a real legacy to Aldens passion for great education facilities for our youth – he is the first person for years to actually do anything about it.