GOVERNMENT is in the process of verifying claims of $676 million owed to contractors. This was indicated in a statement issued yesterday by the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), after a meeting between the Ministerial Committee for the Construction Industry and members of the Joint Consultative Council for the Construction Industry (JCC) at the OPM in St Clair.
The meeting was chaired by Planning and Development Minister Camille Robinson-Regis, in the absence of the Prime Minister. In January, Dr Rowley announced he would chair this committee, which includes relevant government ministers and representatives from various professional bodies which form the JCC.
One area of focus for the committee is the settlement of legitimate outstanding arrears to contractors. At a national pre-budget forum last September, contractors claimed Government owed them an estimated $4.5 billion. The PM invited he JCC to submit documentation to support the claim.
The OPM said the JCC has only been able to submit documents to substantiate claims totalling $676 million. Government will now undertake a verification process with a view to settling its commitments as part of its overall management of TT’s economy. Some of these claims were reportedly incurred under the former People’s Partnership government.