The Saint Lucia Labour Party notes with deep interest the public statements made recently by Hon Guy Joseph regarding the reconstruction of the St. Jude Hospital. The Party denounces the attempts by Hon. Guy Joseph to impute improper motives on the Labour Government even before his announced technical audit has been completed.
The SLP reminds the public that the repairs to St. Jude started during the tenure of the United Workers Party government of which the Hon. Guy Joseph was a member of Cabinet. Later, what to all intents and purposes was expected to be repairs to the burnt sections of the hospital was transformed to a total construction of an entirely new hospital costing millions of dollars. The outgoing UWP of which Guy Joseph was a minister did not leave a clear way forward for the completion of the hospital repairs. Many challenging negotiations had to be entered into, and new funding had to be sought, by the incoming Labour government since the original scope of works was inadequate. Considerable progress had been made and several buildings have been completed when on assuming office in June 2016, the UWP immediately stopped construction and caused scores of workers to be out of work.
After several verbal assaults aimed at officials of the former administration, Guy Joseph announced that a Technical Audit would be performed costing (quote) “all the way about $800,000 or there about.” No clear indication has been provided to the public on the firm that was selected to carry out the so called technical audit although tax payers are the ones funding the exercise.
The Saint Lucia Labour Party requests that the government answer the following questions regarding that audit:
- What was the method of procurement used to choose the firm; was it through the tender process or by direct award?
- What are the Terms of Reference of the Audit?
- Was the Tenders Board involved in the selection of the auditor?
- How were the fees or cost of the audit calculated if there was no competitive bidding?
- How many firms or individuals were invited to present proposals and costings for the audit?
- What are the terms of payment for the audit; is it a fixed cost contract or a time-based award?
The SLP believes that based on the utterances of Guy Joseph and his history during his last term as a minister, these questions must be answered truthfully or else this exercise will be viewed by the people of Saint Lucia as an exercise aimed solely at being vindictive and damaging reputations, while further delaying the completion of the reconstruction of the hospital and denying the people of Saint Lucia and in particular the south of the island adequate health care.