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WSC Chairman Refutes Victimization Claims

Water and Sewerage Corporation Executive Chairman Adrian Gibson refuted claims of victimization this past Friday from APEX Underground Utilities and Construction Company Ltd. President Georgy Miller. 

During a press conference, Mr. Gibson stressed that WSC’s board has nothing to do with deciding the winning bidder for three contracts recently awarded for Family Island water supply projects.  

“My late uncle was a building contractor. I can remember him preparing bids. I can also remember him accepting that he would win some and lose some, but he would put his best foot forward,” Mr. Gibson said.

“He expressed to me that he entered every bid hoping to win, but knew that it was not automatic, that he had no entitlement and I never saw him conduct himself in an uncouth, unprofessional, disrespectful and wholly immature manner if he did not win.”

Mr. Gibson insisted that the Caribbean Development Bank is completely responsible for the procurement process – a process which follows bid submissions. 

“After the bid opening, a third-party independent assessor collects the bids to conduct the evaluation. For the CDB Project, Noel Whyte & Associates Ltd. (NOWAL) are the contracted Engineering Services Consultants (ESC). One of the primary responsibilities of the ESC is to prepare bid evaluation reports relating to tenders for the various work components,” Mr. Gibson explained.

“NOWAL is an engineering firm based in Jamaica. Representatives from NOWAL ensure that evaluations, contracts and site works are undertaken to the client’s specifications and in accordance with industry best practices.”

For the Crooked Island project, the chairman said all bidders with the exception of Bahamas Hot Mix were disqualified. 

He added that the evaluators found that Apex was nearly $350,000 less than the engineers estimate, which is the combined, rock bottom estimate of what WSC and the independent consultants believed would carry the project. 

“We have seen many incomplete projects throughout the islands and also seen contractors bid extremely low to win a job only to return for several change orders. Beyond this, upon their evaluation of the bids, Noel Whyte and Associates found that Apex’s bid was largely unresponsive and that Apex had 10 non-conformities in their bid submission,” he said. 

 “This was with both Crooked Island and Long Island. Apex was previously awarded works in Pinewood Gardens. In that project, which was also a part of the CDB loan package, I was advised that by project managers that the contractor returned to the corporation for a change order. The contractor was also 150 days behind schedule.”

Mr. Gibson said Mr. Miller is welcome to revise the proper channels to have whatever investigation he wishes, as WSC has nothing to hide. 

Written by Jones Bahamas

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