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Govt scraps Specialty Hospital contract with Surendra Engineering citing alleged fraud, lack of accountability

The Specialty Hospital’s work site at Liliendaal

The Guyana government on Tuesday announced that it has scrapped the contract with an Indian company, Surendra Engineering Company Limited (SECL), to build the Specialty Hospital at Liliendaal after that company allegedly failed to account for public funds and allegedly engaged in fraud.

Demerara Waves Online News was told that the company has already drawn down US$3,636,000 as a mobilization advance. India has provided a US$18 million line of credit to construct the facility that has failed to gain support from Guyana’s opposition for, among other reasons, SECL’s track record in building Specialty Hospital compared to another bidder, Fedders Lloyd that was unsuccessful.

In a statement, the Guyana government The Government of Guyana said it has written SECL “about its deep concerns about its execution of the contract for the design and construction of the Specialty Hospital.”

Despite publicly advocating the merits of the project and continuing to lambaste the opposition for its non-support, the Donald Ramotar administration broke its silence and said that its own concerns date back to June of this year. “Since late June 2014, the Government of Guyana had been engaging SECL on a number of issues regarding allegation of fraud and financial irregularities.”

Government said that initially, the Government’s concerns related to delayed milestones and inadequate accountability by SECL for public funds the company had received on signing the contract with the Ministry of Health.

But subsequently, the Government of Guyana said it discovered that SECL’s representative in Guyana had allegedly submitted a fraudulent document purporting to emanate from the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago.

Since the allegedly fraudulent Act by SECL was confirmed by the Central Bank of Trinidad & Tobago, the Government said it has written SECL informing the Company of its intention to terminate the contract, pursue legal action against the company for alleged fraud and recover public funds from SECL for which it has allegedly failed to account fully.