Government cancels Speciality Hospital contract over fraud concerns

Government cancels Speciality Hospital contract over fraud concerns

The Government of Guyana on Tuesday announced moves to scrap the contract it entered into with the Surendra Engineering Company of India for the construction of the Specialty Hospital while expressing its deep concerns about the company’s execution of the contract for the design and construction of the Hospital.

The move by the government is as a result of mounting evidence of fraud and financial irregularities that may have already cost the country hundreds of millions of dollars.

In a late afternoon statement, the Guyana government said “since late June 2014, the Government of Guyana had been engaging SECL on a number of issues regarding allegation of fraud and financial irregularities”

The statement added that 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.

 “Subsequently, the Government of Guyana discovered that SECL’s representative in Guyana had submitted a fraudulent document purporting to emanate from the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago. Since the fraudulent Act by SECL was confirmed by the Central Bank of Trinidad & Tobago, the Government has written SECL informing the Company of its intention to terminate the contract, to pursue legal action against the company for fraud and to recover public funds from SECL for which it has failed to account fully”, the statement said. 

When the contract was signed two years ago for the Speciality Hospital and the Opposition and other groups raised concerns about the company awarded the contract, the government shot down those concerns and defended its position to award the contract to Surendra.  The government had also criticised the Opposition parties for their decision to cut the budget for the same Speciality Hospital after the Opposition expressed concerns of their own. The Opposition’s move was described as mind boggling and anti development.

Filed:  9th September, 2014

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