GOVERNMENT saved more than $30 million on the contract to restore President’s House, says Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Stuart Young.
He was responding to an urgent question in the Senate yesterday from Opposition Senator Wade Mark on media reports of a contract awarded to the company Unicom Ltd for $106.9 million for restoration work on President’s House. Mark asked when the contract was advertised and how many bids were received.
Young, speaking on behalf of the Housing Minister, said he had not received formal information but the matter was dealt with by the Historical Restoration Committee and the state entity was Udecott.
“I can say it was publicly advertised (and) there were a number of bids. I don’t have the exact amount here. And these bids were assessed. What I can say...is that the price was reduced by over $30 million as a result of the work done by the Government.”
Mark then asked when the Senate would be able to get the information and cautioned about misleading the House. Young responded that as soon the information was available it would be provided to him and added that he had in no way misled the House but had given accurate information.
Mark pressed him to specify a time frame and Young responded “soon in the future” and said he hoped it would be within the next week.
No President has lived in the house for years, but in a “cottage” in the grounds. Part of the roof of the house collapsed in 2010. To date President Paula Mae-Weekes has been living in her private home with her mother in Diego Martin rather than the cottage.