Contractors that have won government contracts but violate the terms of the deal by failing to deliver projects on time or submitting subpar projects may soon be required to appear in court.
The government is preparing to file a lawsuit against any contractors who continue to be in default and are determined to thwart efforts to advance its infrastructure development goals.
Delinquent contractors, according to Attorney General Anil Nandlall, SC, are gravely impeding the government’s agenda by significantly delaying the execution and completion of public works across the nation.
Last week, Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo said some 700 infrastructure projects are under implementation across the country simultaneously; these projects are largely fueled by revenues from oil production offshore.
“The Ministry of Finance has been directed to conduct a swift audit to determine who the delinquent contractors are.
“Once determined, that information will be passed to the Attorney General and [I have] received firm instructions to notify delinquent contractors and demand liquidated damages (where the contracts so permits) and to sue for breach of contract,” Nandlall said during his Tuesday night ‘Issues in the News’ commentary on his Facebook page.
He said with the current delays faced, the government is forced to take these steps to ensure that contractors discharge their obligations in accordance with contract specifications.
“The government will not tolerate substandard work and breach of contract from contractors who are paid billions to discharge their obligations,” Nandlall added.
He said those contractors who are performing well, have no reason to worry.
“The delinquent ones, it will attract legal consequences,” Nandlall said while insisting that the government will move swiftly in that direction.
In recent months, Minister of Public Works Juan Edghill and President Dr. Irfaan Ali were forced to visit contractors on work sites due to protracted delays. Despite the government’s urgings, delays on major projects have persisted.