PWD has new tender criteria

| 23/05/2011

(CNS):The Public Works Department has overhauled its criteria for measuring the value and quality of bids submitted during tender requests for government jobs. The acting deputy chief officer at the ministry, Tristan Hydes, told CNS that the first tender request regarding the work for the Cayman Brac emergency centre was withdrawn as a result of changes made by the department as recommended by the Central Tenders Committee. The tender for the foundations was awarded on the second RFP as a result of the changes to the requirements, which Hydes said were more objective in order to attain “best value” for government. This objective approach, he added, introduces a more detailed scoring mechanism that was not just focused on price.

The tender was re-advertised in accordance with CTC regulations under the new rules after a letter had been circulated to bids already made. Hydes said that the same tenderers that submitted under the first advertisement, expressed interest under the second tender with the same dollar values, and the tender that won was clearly leading under the first evaluation as well.

“This new mechanism is now being used going forward on future PWD projects, and it is this ministry’s as well as CTC & PWD's intention to be fair and objective in all projects that will lead to government obtaining the best value for its project,” he added.

The first tender for the first phase of the $9 million Brac shelter project (nick-named Hurricane Hilton as a result of the various luxuries, such as en-suite hotel type accommodation that are part of the design) was won by Island Builders Co. The owner of the construction company, Dean Scott, signed the contract with Deputy Premier Juliana O’Connor-Connolly at a groundbreaking ceremony earlier this month. Despite the changes to the criteria described by Hydes, Scott told CNS that his bid of $285,000 to build the 27,000 square foot foundation was still the lowest of the five bids when it came to dollars.

A letter cancelling the original tender was sent out by the director of public works to all those who had already submitted bids in early February, stating that a new RFP would be circulated.  The project was then retendered under the new criteria and closed in March.

The CTC and procurement process is currently under scrutiny by the auditor general, who is expected to publish a report next month. How government gives out contracts has been the subject of controversy for some time and the Commission for Standards in Public Life, created under the constitution, has also stated that it intends to look closely at the technical teams that advice the CTC and the make-up of the committee itself. 

However, despite being established in the immediate wake of the implementation of the country’s 2009 constitution, the standards commission has not yet begun any investigations of any kind as it says it needs specific legislation in place before it can fulfil its mandate.

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Comments (12)

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  1. anon says:

    Hmm. A major project begins and the CTC isn't ignored by the premier running rough-shod over all established procurement procedure. You know what, that IS news!

  2. Anonymous says:

    The Commission for Standards in Public Life appears to be waiting for former auditor general Dan Duguay to be available before it calls any meetings. According to its website – Mr Duguay is still on the Committee.

  3. Caymanian Concern says:

    We dont have the money, this project is not critical, and contracts for cronies stinks.  Does that sum it up?

  4. Anonymous says:

    I bet you my dollar, this article won't pass today without ignorant bloggers attacking Julianna, UDP, or the PPM party for CTC decisions. The CTC is a committee that has its role in determining which developer is best for a proposed project – that is not the UDP's administrational function. So I hope this nips conspiracy theorists in the bud that may want to use this article to say now that government is interfering in the committees role.    

    • Jay says:

      lol… agreed, but you're outnumbered

    • Anonymous says:

      I'd like to add to your bet and say that I think that not only will the "ignorant bloggers" be on the attack. I believe that also the intelligent posters will attack.  Most everyone from the "ignorant bloggers" to the intelligent posters can see that this is the wrong project at the wrong time.

      • Anonymous says:

        Wrong project/wrong time – I agree with you. Unfortunately, this has nothing to do with CTC. CTC does not decide whether a project should be done but rather that government (and therefore the country) gets value for money. This project with the fancy ensuite rooms should never have gone to this stage, never got to CTC, we can't afford it now. IF a shelter was needed for Cayman Brac, it didn't need to be a Hilton.

        • Brac in the minority says:

          Ok… then when another hurricane Ivan comes and blow off your roofs, stay home in Grand Cayman, don't come over here looking for luxurious life in a shelter!

          • noname says:

            Cayman Brac gets everything it deserves

          • Anonymous says:

            Ivan didn't come and "blow off my roofs", I builtmy house so that it withstood Ivan, I don't expect government to look after me. I guess you will be allocated a special suite and that's why you are so keen on this project. We can't afford a Hurricane Hilton at this at this time, either on the Brac or on Grand Cayman. A regular shelter would have been fine, air conditioned ensuite bathrooms are ridiculous.

          • Anonymous says:

            You are a disgrace to all Brackers. We are all Caymanians, and must help each other in a time of need. When so many came to the Brac to help after Paloma were you left out? The outpouring of aid from Grand Cayman was fantastic.

    • Just Askin' says:

      I'd like to know how you still have a dollar to bet. Do you ride a bike?