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#1 2017-08-13 14:18:19

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Registered: 2017-03-04
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The Ministry of Social Protection plans to occupy the High Street building which is replacing the former Guyana Broadcasting Corporation headquarters. The new structure was constructed by the Guyana Geology$1B is expected to be spent on this structure to house offices of the Social Protection Ministry.and Mines Commission.The Committee of Supply of the National Assembly was informed of this move on Tuesday when the House was considering the estimates of revenue and expenditure for the 2017 budget for the Ministry.Minister of Social Protection,Yan Gomes Indians Jersey, Volda Lawrence, was asked by opposition member Dr. Vindhya Persaud to provide clarity on the allocation of $200M to be spent on the provision of a building to improve administrative accommodation.Minister Lawrence said that the money is for the High Street building. She stated, “This $200M will be for the preparation of plans, drawings, corrections to the defective work that was done so that we can move on to get the building ready for the ministry.”When asked how soon the building will be ready for occupation, Lawrence said, “We are anxious to get into this building and we are hoping that by the first week of January 2017 we can put out our ads in the newspaper and hopefully that within the first half of the year, all these works we have listed,Carlos Lee Astros Jersey, can be completed.”Opposition member Juan Edghill questioned the minister further on the issue by referring to volume three of the estimates which shows that in total, the ministry expects to spend $1B on the project.Lawrence said that she cannot confirm whether $1B will be spent on the building. However, she said that the sum is the projected amount. She was then asked to indicate how long the project is expected to be completed. To this,Joe Carter Indians Jersey, Minister Lawrence said the complete rehabilitation works should finish in 2018.She said that the money is needed to ensure that the building is safe not only for the employees but for the persons it intends to provide services to. According to Lawrence,Mats Naslund Canadiens Jersey, if the $200M is not enough for 2017, she intends to approach the House for a supplementary allocation.Further, she said that works were done by the Ministry of Public Infrastructure on the building which served to inform the Ministry’s request of such a large sum.Initially,Marcos Rojo Jersey UK, $700M was spent to construct the building with the contract being awarded to Kishan Bacchus General Contractors. The structure was intended to house offices for the then Ministry of Labour and the Guyana Forestry Commission.Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment, Raphael Trotman, during a press conference in November had said that both the GGMC and the GFC had plugged $400M into the building’s construction.He said that the situation at the building is so bad that if tiles are placed on the first floor,Joe Barksdale Chargers Jersey, the floor is expected to crumble because the support beams are not present.A forensic audit report had found that the building involved the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited and through its negligence wasted approximately $350M of taxpayer’s money.

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