Udecott chairman Jerlean John, meanwhile, has confirmed that Udecott entered into the contract with Bouygues for the construction of the police stations four days before the May 24 general election. John, speaking with Sunday Guardian yesterday, said the contract award had nothing to do with the impending election. John said she was unaware of Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar's statement on Friday night about an investigation into the contract. "I do not have the contract before for me and I do not want to contradict the Prime Minister." She said as far as she was aware the board was in operation at the time the contract was signed.
John said the Bouygues delay costs were incurred mainly because the project was put on hold following the change in government. The Udecott boss said the state enterprise failed to pay the contractor's mobilisation fees which has led to the present situation. "The award of a contract is a legal document, after that you execute the contract. You have to give notice to proceed and pay the mobilisation fees and Udecott did not pay the mobilisation fee because of the election," she said. John, who was appointed Udecott chairman after Calder Hart's resignation in March, assured that the $8.6 million in run-wait delay fees can be negotiated.
"The contractor can put that (fee) forward, we will then have to negotiate with the contractor and I think we can negotiate the fee," she said. John indicated that the project was put on hold when the People's Partnership took office to give the new regime an opportunity to review "all the contracts on the table." The contract now has to be re-negotiated should the Government choose to continue with the construction of the six police stations. She said she would look into the matter tomorrow. (RR)