Housing Minister Richard Frederick has indicated that his Ministry will commission an investigation into the granting of a million-dollar contract for the painting of the CDC Buildings in Central Castries, just prior to the last General Elections.
Addressing Parliament on Tuesday during the presentation of $9.8 million supplementary budgetary by the Minister of Finance Philip J Pierre, Minister Frederick said he was concerned that the contract price of the paint works granted by the NHC was grossly over the value of the painting work done on the CDC apartments.
According to the Minister, assessments of the work done were no more than $50,000.
Moreover, he added the contractual arrangements entered into by the NHC Board for the painting of the CDC apartments were outside its purview.
With the contract granted just “three weeks before” the last general elections of July 26, 2021, the Minister questioned the real motive behind the granting of a contract he believed to be highly inflated.
As a result, he said, his Ministry will be commissioning an audit of the related works to determine the validity and justification for settling the claim for payment of the said contract.
This isn’t the first audit publicly promised by Minister Frederick, who, late last year, also indicated his Ministry will be undertaking a forensic audit into how the NHC handled its finances between 2016 and 2021.
Tenders have already been invited from qualified persons to undertake a forensic audit of the NHC’s operation during the last administration.