BUCHANAN, Grand Bassa – After the payment of US$350,000 from Grand Bassa’s County and Social Development Fund by the central government, the county’s Project Management Committee has now started receiving bidding documents from private companies to implement new projects.
The amount is a portion of the US$700,000 allotted to the county under the 2018/2019 national budget and was paid in two separate installments of US$100,000 and US$250,000.
Delegates at the county’s annual council sitting on December 7, 2018, agreed on several projects to be implemented during the fiscal year, but none of the projects was implemented because of the government’s failure to remit the fund.
The projects, which included commissioners’ residences in the county’s first and second districts, the purchase of a mini-dump truck, and the construction of a mini bridge in the third and fourth districts, as well as the construction of a youth center in the fifth district, and support for the youth, women, and the disabled community totaled US$185,000.
The PMC chairman, Moses Henry, disclosed that because the money paid to the county is far below what was estimated for the projects decided by delegates, his committee, along with the local county administration, would prioritize a project in each of the districts to begin implementation.
He said the money available was not enough to complete the priority projects that were advertised for bidding.
According to him, apart from the remaining US$350,000 owed from the US$700,000 allotment in 2018, the central government also owes Grand Bassa over US$3 million in social development funds during the past years.
Opening bid documents for the projects recently in Buchanan, Henry disclosed that nine companies participated in the bid, including Jeanco Construction Company, Unity Business Center, and Siahn Development Incorporated.
He revealed that, except for the projects in the county’s first and second districts, the projects for the third, fourth, and fifth district are being advertised for a second time because the number of bids received did not meet the Public Procurement and Concession Commission’s guidelines.
He said the law requires that at least three companies must bid for a project and in cases where this is not achieved, the project must be re-advertised to the public.
He noted that only two companies bid for the construction of the youth center in Grand Bassa’s fifth district, and one company bid for the purchase of the dump truck for the county’s third district. No company has so far expressed interest in the construction of a small bridge in Zuehgar Town, in the fourth district.
The bid documents were opened in the presence of the companies’ representatives, Grand Bassa’s Superintendent Janjay Baikpeh, and civil society for the sake of transparency.
Speaking during the gathering, Baikpeh thanked the companies for their participation and encouraged those who will not be selected to improve their services for future consideration.
“We want to assure you that the process will remain fair and open because that is what the law says and not what we say,” he said.
“We have opened your bids. We will now turn it over to the vetting committee to carry out their duty and then we will get back to you as soon as possible.”
Patrick Gorwor of Siahn Development Incorporated praised the county leadership for ensuring transparency through the bidding process and assured the county of quality works by companies that will be selected for the implementation of the projects.
Featured photo by Sampson David