UPDATE: Written Submissions Roseau West Bridge Project Court Matter Expected by December
Lawyers representing the Dominica Builders and Contractors Association and Government have ended oral submissions in court, but justice Bernie Stephenson will not rule on the matter yet.
She will have to wait for written submissions by December, before she determines whether the matter should go to trial.
The Dominica Builders and Contractors Association decided to sue the Prime Minister, Minister for Public Works, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Public Works, Financial Secretary and the Procurement Board, after a contract for the Roseau West Bridge Project and associated works was granted to Management and Technical Services Limited of Barbados.
The Dominican builders contend that the action of Government was illegal, since the contract was not tendered in line with the Public Procurement and Administration Act.
In court on Monday, lawyers for the builders, Senior Counsel Reginald Amour and Vanessa Gopaul of Trinidad, said the builders only learned about the contract on a radio broadcast in April 2O16 and the grounds for a court matter were strong.
They said transparency and accountability in the granting of a contract were lacking and asked the judge to take the matter to trial.
But Senior Counsel Tony Astaphan who represented Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit and Public Works Minister Miriam Blanchard said there were public pronouncements about the West Bridge Project but Tropical Storm Erika forced the speed up of the works.
He said unless the builders were pleading corruption, fraud and bad faith in the award of the contract, the matter should not go to trial.
Barbados Queens Counsel Roger Ford told the court the builders don’t have legs to stand on, since procurement proceedings which took place before the act are allowed to continue.
Lawyers on both sides will now make written submissions to the court, before the judge rules on the matter.