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Secretaries Answers to Questions

1.45 P.M.

56. (Minority Leader)   asked the Secretary of Education, Research and Technology:-

“With respect to the July/August School Repair Programme   and its various phases, can the Secretary provide answers to the following   questions?

(a) Whether the projects   for which contracts were awarded are all now completed?

(b) Whether the projects   incurred any variation in cost?

(c) Whether there are any   outstanding payments due to contractors in respect to works done for these   projects?”

Madam Presiding Officer, the answer to part (a) is, no.

There are several ongoing projects, and I have in front of me, five (5).

1. Avicon Services - Mason Hall Secondary School- Project status - ninety-five percent (95%) complete.

2. Avicon Services - Mason Hall Secondary School - and I should have indicated - first item, block B and K; second item block J - ninety-five percent (95%) complete.

3. Avicon again - Mason Hall Secondary - Block C and H - ninety-five percent (95%) complete; and the   fourth

Raldon Construction - Scarborough Secondary School - ninety five percent (95%) percent complete.

The reasons for three of Avicon’s ongoing works and for   Raldon - Snagging.In response to part (b), I have seven (7) projects that   incurred variations in costs. I am going to give you the schools.

Tablepiece Government   - variation sum - thirty-two thousand, six hundred and seventy-five thousand   dollars ($32,675);

Speyside Secondary -   two sums - one for one hundred and thirty-one thousand, two hundred and eight   dollars ($131,208); and the second for sixty-five thousand, two hundred and   fifty dollars ($65,250);

L ’Anse Fourmi   Methodist - fifty thousand ($50,000);

Buccoo Government   Primary - thirty-eight thousand, one hundred dollars ($38,100);

Signal Hill Secondary - and I have two (2) for Signal Hill Secondary - first sum - fifty-one thousand, six hundred and sixty thousand dollars ($51,660); and the second sum - eleven thousand, five hundred dollars ($1 1,500).

Part (c): Outstanding payments for the School Repair Programme inclusive of outstanding variation, is in the sum of ten million, four hundred and fifty thousand, three hundred and fifty-four dollars and fifty-two cents, ($10,450,354.52).

     The SRP works - ten million, eight hundred and thirty thousand, seven hundred and forty-eight dollars ($10,830,748), and the variation works of three hundred and eighty thousand, three hundred and ninety-three dollars and forty-eight cent ($380,393.48), giving that a total of ten million, four hundred and fifty thousand, three hundred and fifty-four dollars and fifty-two cents ($10,450,354.52).

I have with me every contractor’s name and the sum owed. The majority of them is the ten percent (10%) retention.

    Thank you, Madam Presiding Officer.

Supplemental, Minority Leader?

Madam Presiding Officer, can the Secretary explain with   respect... [Interruption]

Minority Leader, hold on!

Members are advised, and persons in the gallery, that all phones are supposed to be on silence or turned off. Thank you.

Continue, Minority Leader.

Madam Presiding Officer, I quite recall in this very House, a similar question was asked, and this House was told at the time, that the Scarborough Secondary School was the only school outstanding. Can the Secretary explain to this House, how come now we are hearing about five (5) other schools in addition to the Scarborough Secondary School?

Five (5) other schools in reference to what Minority Leader? Can you be specific?

You supplied this House with an update on the School Repair Programme, and you told this House that the only school at the time that was outstanding was Scarborough Secondary School.

Madam Presiding Officer, the information that I had was that Avicon had not yet started on the School Repair Programme. That information I am certain the Minority Leader has. It does not have Avicon as beginning the project. As a matter of fact, that was one of the issues I had to clarify when that issue was raised about the Trinidad Contractor in the first place. So, Minority Leader, Avicon Services Limited as I said before - three (3) projects at the Mason Hall Secondary, and one (1) Raldon Construction at the Scarborough Secondary School - snagging - ninety-five percent (95%) complete, and Avicon three (3) projects - ninety-five percent (95%) percent.

Minority Leader,   supplemental?

Madam Presiding Officer, again I repeat. Based on the information supplied to us via a written answer, and the works that were completed - Avicon was included on Mason Hall, and at that time, we were not told that Mason Hall had outstanding works. Can the Secretary kindly outline to this House, how between then, when there was the issue only with the Scarborough Secondary being the school with outstanding works, and now, we are hearing about the Mason Hall Secondary School. What is the difference for that kind of report to this honourable House?

     Madam Presiding Officer, as I said before, Avicon Services Limited who, at that point in time, when the issue of the Trinidad contractor came up - I was able to say that the works had not even begun because this product had to be brought into the country. I would like the Minority Leader to look back at his documents that I provided him with and look at the status of Avicon where they were in terms of start date, and then we can have this conversation. As I have right now, ninety-five percent (95%) of works are ongoing and Raldon Construction - Scarborough Secondary School - ninety five percent (95%) - snagging is the reason for incompletion.

     Thank you, Madam Presiding Officer.

Madam Presiding Officer, we are being told by the Secretary, with respect to outstanding payments, that most of those payments are with the variations as well as retentions. The information that I have before me, is that there are a number of contractors still waiting on forty percent (40%); some twenty percent (20%), but a number of contractors are still outstanding. I want the Secretary to kindly explain what is accounting for the difference in the contractors’ experience where they are saying monies are owed to them, and the Secretary’s report where she is saying that the only monies the Division really owe to these contractors are retention and variation.

Members, this is not a debate. I am going to allow the Secretary of Education, Research and Technology to furnish the Minority Leader with a complete document.

I have it, Madam Presiding Officer. I could not stand and call out every   contractor’s name, but I have it.

Member, I will allow you to provide or furnish the Minority Leader with a total report of the information he seeks.

Thank you, Madam Presiding Officer.

Minority Councillor.

18th Plenary Sitting Tobago House of Assembly 2021 - 2025 Session


25 May 2023
Supplemental question to the main question :
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