Following investigations by the Department of Local Government into the delay of the construction of the Lucea infirmary in Hanover, two officers of the technical services unit with responsibility for the project were subject to disciplinary action resulting in them severing ties with the organisation.
The Hanover infirmary has been the subject of much controversy in recent times following the delay in the construction of the new building for which ground was broken October last year with a six-month completion timeline.
Investigations revealed that design flaws were detected during construction due to unapproved modifications being made to the drawings outside of the approved design without consultation with the Board of Supervision which has oversight responsibility for the infirmaries and which had signed off on the original designs.
Minister with responsibility for Local Government, Robert Montague last month issued a directive for the Director General, Major Richard Reese, to conduct a thorough investigation into the implementation and execution of the project with a view to resolving the issues speedily particularly in light of the urgency of the need for the facilities for the nation’s elderly and most vulnerable.
The Director General subsequently requested a technical report on the architectural design plan and site.
The report indicated that the unapproved design was discovered which resulted in the suspension of construction in December last year to facilitate corrective action and revised estimates.
In addition it was also discovered that the estimates provided were not properly done resulting in a cost variation, while the unauthorised modifications have led to the department having to absorb cost overruns and variations that exceeded the budget for the project. The overall project variation is being determined.
The new infirmary was slated to cost approximately $27million, $20 million of which has been financed through the CHASE funds. To date, the contractors have been paid approximately $3. 9 million dollars.
A comprehensive technical review of the project is currently being undertaken following which a resumption date will be announced.
Major Reese has since advised that the two technical officers were found negligent in the execution of their duties and were last Friday interviewed resulting in their resignation and dismissal.
The Hanover infirmary currently accommodates approximately 50 residents 30 males and 20 females on 1.5 acres of land.
Contact: Ann-Marie Mittoo
920-8152; 754-0992-9; 579-7454