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PM defends decision to award Kallco $400m highway contract

Published: 
Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has defended Government’s decision to award Kall Co Ltd (Kallco) a $400 million contract to construct the first segment of the Churchill- Roosevelt Highway extension to Manzanilla. He said nothing is wrong with that decision.

In mid-October 2017, Dr Roodal Moonilal, former EMBD (Estate Management and Business Development Company Limited) CEO Gary Parmassar, and three others were accused of bid-rigging and ‘cartel behaviour’ in the handing out of several contracts during Moonilal’s tenure as housing minister.

It amounted to over $200 million in payments. Government subsequently gathered evidence which formed part of civil claims to render contracts with five companies void and unenforceable.

Rowley was speaking yesterday at the Breakfast with the Prime Minister event hosted by the Joint Consultative Council held at the Hyatt Regency, Dock Road, Port-of-Spain.

The Prime Minister said subsequent to Kallco’s disqualification on the Maracas contract, contractors were invited to bid by Nidco.

The PM said, “Nidco invited contractors who were qualified, or who were able to do the job, Kallco among other contractors.

Kallco’s bid was the lowest bid, the difference between the highest and the lowest bid was almost $100 million.”

Rowley added: “If there is grounds especially legal grounds for a contractor to be delisted then certainly, such a contractor should not go forward, but as of now, if you ask the ministry the question you are asking me now, as to why contractor ‘A’, ‘B’ or ‘C’ forms part of a list or ‘B’ or ‘C’ should not be there because of something they did two months ago there is no system in that.”

He noted that Kallco had the lowest bid which was a $100 million cheaper.

Also critical of the long time President Anthony Carmona took to appoint the Procurement Board, Rowley estimated by June 2018 the public would see fruit from the implementation of the new board.

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