KINGSTON — Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transport and Works, Dr. Alwin Hales, says the procurement process for consulting services for the Jamaica Development Infrastructure Programme (JDIP), is well advanced.
"We are in an advanced stage in the procurement of the oversight consultant that the former Prime Minister (Hon. Bruce Golding) had promised the nation, when he reported on JDIP to Parliament a few months ago," Dr. Hales said.
He was speaking at a press conference at the Ministry in Kingston on November 17, where he responded to the findings of the Auditor General’s Special Audit Report on JDIP.
Dr. Hales explained that the procurement process had to take its course and that a recommendation has now been made by the Ministry to the National Contracts Commission (NCC). "We are hoping, in early December, to go to Cabinet for final approval of the consulting firm that will perform the duty of independent oversight of the JDIP," he added.
According to the request for proposal (RFP), by the Ministry of Transport and Works, the consultant is expected to provide advice to the Ministry on project prioritisation, conduct evaluation of the various work activities, review payment certificates and provide project management oversight in respect of JDIP.
The audit, which was tabled in the House of Representatives on November 15, was undertaken by the Auditor General’s Department into the management of JDIP, to determine whether the Ministry of Transport and Works and the National Works Agency (NWA) employed appropriate systems to facilitate efficient and effective management of the programme. There were 12 key findings in the report.
The JDIP represents a major undertaking by the Government to significantly improve the island’s road network, to enhance the quality of life of citizens and stimulate economic development.
Funding has been provided by the Government of China, through the Export Import (EXIM) Bank of China. This partnership has made available US$400 million (approximately J$36 billion) for a programme of works on roads and road furniture, such as bridges, drains and traffic systems, islandwide. The programme is being undertaken on all roads, main and parochial.
By Alecia Smith-Edwards, JIS Reporter