Education Ministry responds to misleading claims made about Fanny Village Government Primary School

Caption: Minister of Education, the Honourable Anthony Garcia. (File Photo)

July 17, 2017: The Ministry of Education is committed to ensuring transperancy in all of its transactions to promote accountability for public funds. Recently, claims were made by former education minister Dr Tim Gopeesingh about the status and amount of money spent on the Fanny Village Government Primary School. Today, the Ministry seeks to clarify any misleading information that may be circulating in the public sphere as a result of these claims. The commencement and current standing of the project are as follows:

  • By Terms of Reference (TORs) dated September 2005, the Ministry of Education (MOE) mandated the Education Facilities Company Limited (EFCL) to provide project management, designs, construction services and outfitting for twenty one (21) replacement government primary schools of which Fanny Village Government Primary School was included.
  • A contract was awarded by EFCL to Ashana Civil Mechanical Contracting Limited in July 2008 in the sum of thirty nine million four hundred and fifty thousand eight hundred and eighty seven dollars and seventy nine cents ($39,454,887.79) for a package consisting of Cap-de-Vile Government Primary, Fanny Village Primary and Fanny Village ECCEC.
  • Progress was hampered by slow and inadequate supply of design related information to the contractor by Design Consultant, Claude A. Benjamin and Associates (Lead Consultant).  The project was also negatively affected by a large number of variations caused by design and scope changes issued by the Design Consultants. Claude A. Benjamin and Associates were terminated in November 2009.
  • Vikab Engineering Consultants Ltd. (VIKAB) was subsequently engaged as new Lead Consultant. In 2011 all EFCL contracts for design and supervisory consultants were terminated and two new and separate contracts were awarded to VIKAB for consultancy services in relation to the design and supervision of the Fanny Village Government Primary School.
  • VIKAB’s 15 month contract ended in July 2012 but they continued as Lead Consultant (sanctioned by (EFCL) until the contract was terminated in May of 2013.
  • In July 2014 EFCL contracted CEP Limited as Consultants for the re-commencement of construction work for this project.
  • CEP presented two options as the way forward. Firstly, structural retrofitting of all existing structural members at an estimated cost of $33,400,000.00. Secondly, restricting all blocks to single storey buildings, limited structural retrofitting and redesign of the roofs to make them lighter. This option was estimated to cost $27, 700, 000.00
  • EFCL selected the second option and awarded a contract to Construction Supplies and Services Limited (CSSL) for the completion of the school on 16th April, 2015.  The initial value of this contract was $19,100,000.00 VAT Excl.  However, to date this contractor has submitted claims for additional costs valued at $8,496,702.50 VAT EXCL, which have not yet been evaluated by EFCL.  This contractor subsequently suspended works in October 2015.

 

Earlier this year, Ministers of Education, the Honourable Anthony Garcia and Dr. the Honourable Lovell Francis along with Point Fortin Member of Parliament Retired Major General Edmund Dillon visited the site where they had the opportunity to meet with staff of the school and members of the community who expressed amazement that construction was being undertaken on a site which was once a riverbed.

As the Ministry of Education moves toward securing adequate and comfortable spaces for all our students to develop holistically, the promise of transparency is enshrined in this endeavor. With the vacation repair program now underway in many schools around the country, the parents and teachers of Fanny Village Government Primary School are reminded that they have not been forgotten and the Ministry continues to work tirelessly to deliver their permanent home.

 

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For further information please contact:

The Corporate Communications Division

Ministry of Education

868-628-3188

 

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