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KINGSTON — The Terms of Reference for an independent consultant to oversee payments made under the Jamaica Infrastructure Development Programme (JDIP) have been completed.

Minister of Transport and Works, Hon. Michael Henry, made the disclosure at a press briefing on Tuesday June 28 at the Ministry on Maxfield Avenue in Kingston.

He said that the position will be advertised and prospective consultants interviewed prior to an appointment.

Speaking in the House of Representatives on June 14, Prime Minister, Hon. Bruce Golding  stated that the decision was taken to hire an independent consultant as he felt there was a need for an independent body to certify the payments.

Mr. Golding said that, in certifying the payments, there was the need to verify that they were consistent with the work that was done.

Responding statements included in a press release issued by the Office of the Contractor General on the award of contracts under the JDIP, Mr. Henry noted that it was not the first time that a major rehabilitative contract has been issued to a single contracting entity.

“The Highway 2000 contract held by Bouygues clearly rivals the JDIP, and that project has the same modus operandi, in terms of main contractor selection: But, has anyone ever heard of a fuss about Bouygues’ selection of sub contractors?” Mr. Henry asked.

The Transport Minister also stated that the media will be provided with a list of the projects and relevant photos, as the programme advances. Also, in respect of the JDIP signs now up, the Ministry will be mounting timelines on them to indicate where, within the overall programme the related projects will be undertaken.

JDIP is a major undertaking by the Government of Jamaica (GOJ) to significantly improve the island’s road network, enhance the quality of life of citizens and stimulate economic development.

The programme is the result of an innovative partnership between the governments of Jamaica and the People’s Republic of China, and is recognised as the largest, most comprehensive infrastructural initiative to be implemented in Jamaica. 

The Government of China, through its Export Import (EXIM) Bank, has made available US$400 million (approximately $36 billion) for the programme of works to be effected islandwide on roads, bridges, drains and traffic systems, over a period of five years.

 

By LATONYA LINTON, JIS Reporter