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Surendra to be blacklisted; recovering US$4 M virtually impossible

The construction site for the Specialty Hospital

The Indian construction firm, Surendra Engineering Corporation Limited (SECL), would be blacklisted after it allegedly submitted a bogus bond for the Specialty Hospital that now leaves US$4 million unsecured and almost impossible to recover, Head of the Presidential Secretariat Dr. Roger Luncheon said Wednesday.

“The long and short of it: You’re right. It is unsecured. There was a bond. There was a point in time when this  oney was secured but there is no bond now and the fraud that was attempted sought to do was to have another bond pit in place to secure our money,” he said.

Luncheon credited the supervisory company, Vikab Engineering, with uncovering the forged document that was written on a letterhead of the Central Bank of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. “VIKAB’s contributions to unraveling the behavior of Surendra have been significant, have been enormous,” he said. He said the supervisory firm had had some reservations about bonds being issued in Trinidad for works being executed in Guyana.

Now that that central bank has confirmed to the Guyana government that the document was false, he restated government has moved to terminate the contract, take legal action and recover public funds from SECL. That money had been mobilization funds to begin early groundwork for the construction of the US$150 million project.

The Specialty Hospital, to be built at Liliendaal-Turkeyen, East Coast Demerara, he said had been dogged by missed timelines and poor accountability of public funds.

Asked if government would now blacklist the company from bidding for projects in the future, he said the documents now require prospective bidders to disclose whether they have been previously prosecuted. “The only reason I would think is for that to allow blacklisting because why would you want to know if legal action and criminal charges have been filed against a tenderer unless you intend to use that information so I would like to think it’s a black mark against you,” he said.

Luncheon said existing contracts with SECL would come under greater scrutiny. He confirmed that calls have been made for a multi-million contract with SECL for the supply of pumps to be reviewed.