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  • WORKS' MINISTER TELLS CONTRACTORS THAT PARTNERSHIP WILL BE TRUE AND TRANSPARENT

    Public/private partnerships that The Bahamas government engages in will be “true” and “transparent” said the Minister of Works the Hon. Desmond Bannister in his address to the Bahamian Contractors’ Association.

    “You have heard of our Manifesto pledge to participate in public/private partnerships. These partnerships will give investors the opportunities to invest in building infrastructure to assist in developing our country while earning a good return on their investment,” said Minister Bannister. He addressed the contractors during a luncheon meeting at Poop Deck West, Wednesday, July 5. Mr. Bannister cited the office complex planned for Tonique Williams Darling Highway as the model for a commercially viable public/private partnership. “The government will make a minimal investment in the project, and will be given preference shares in the ownership of the company that will own the building. The government will then rent the building for 10 years, and at the end of that period the building will be turned over to the government for $100. On top of that the government will be paid 60 percent of the residual revenue in the ownership company. “So, at the end of the day Bahamian contractors will have rewarding work; the investor will make money; and the government will get its initial investment back. That’s a win-win agreement. It is the type of agreement that makes sense and will help us to develop our country’s infrastructure mush faster than if the government had to find all of the money up front,” he said.

    He asserted that the Tendering process for contracts will be strictly adhered to. “Professionalism matters,” said the Minister. “Those contractors who invest in their business and who present innovative solutions will have every opportunity to prosper.” He affirmed that he is not interested in issuing contracts like “candy at a child’s party.” “You are either registered and qualified to participate in the process or you are not. As partners working together we shall elevate the public’s perception of construction contractors. Except where there is some compelling reason, major projects will be publicly tendered. “Unqualified and unregistered individuals will not be considered. All bids will be considered and properly evaluated, and the winning bidder will be the one that provides the best value for the people’s money. We are fully committed to transparency and accountability. This Minister will not interfere with due process. Nor will we tolerate shoddy work.” The Minister urged the contractors to keep abreast of advertisements in the newspapers for invitations to bid, requests for proposal, and expressions of interest. “I am convinced that, we can and we will transform and reinvigorate the infrastructure in our country. You are our valued partners in this effort. We need your progressive thinking, innovative ideas and focused professionalism,” he added.

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