The Water and Sewerage Corporation (WSC) had no say in determining the winning bid for three contracts recently awarded for water supply projects on the Family Islands, Executive Chairman Adrian Gibson said yesterday.Gibson’s comments were in response to Gregory Miller, president of Apex Underground Utilities and Construction Co. Ltd., who recently expressed disappointment after his company was unsuccessful in securing the contracts.
During a pressconference at WSC’s headquarters on University Drive, Gibson said the procurement process, which follows the bid submission, was almost entirely handled by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), which had awarded the loan that will fund the projects.
“In short, WSC does not evaluate tenders,” Gibson said.“This is done outside of The Bahamas.”He added, “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. One of the primary responsibilities of the ESC (engineering service consultants) is to prepare bid evaluation reports relating to tenders for the various work components.
“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.”
On Thursday, The Nassau Guardian reported that Bahamas Hot Mix was awarded the contracts despite not having the lowest bid.
Minister of Public Works Desmond Bannister explained that the decision to award the contracts was the result of the disqualification of the other companies that submitted bids because of their failure to meet the requirements of the CDB.
Bahamas Hot Mix was awarded the contract for the projects on Crooked Island and Long Island.
Cabinet minister Brent Symonette’s children’s trust is a shareholder in Bahamas Hot Mix.