THE Urban Development Corporation (Udecott) yesterday dismissed claims by the Opposition Leader that contracts for two projects under its purview were given to companies owned by a PNM official.
Kamla Persad-Bissessar made the allegations at a UNC congress in Couva on Sunday.
In a statement, Udecott said the demolition of the old Besson Street police station and the construction of the Indian Trail Community Centre in Couva are subject to its tender process.
The company explained it has a suite of tender rules and regulation which govern its various tender processes. These processes, Udecott continued, are transparent and can stand scrutiny. Udecott also said it has a tender committee which is chaired by a former, highly respected and qualified permanent secretary, who has many years' experience in the field. The company said it conducts its business professionally and "plays no role in dissuading people with ties to any corporate entity, political party or otherwise, from taking part in a tender."
Udecott added it was unfortunate that Persad-Bissessar's allegations implied that these two projects were given based on party affiliation.
Once a company is registered and satisfies the requirements in its tender rules and regulations, Udecott said, "It is free to tender."
Under its tendering process, companies who want to tender for providing services to Udecott must first be pre-qualified with the coporation. These services include providing construction, maintenance and consultancy services. Once they are pre-qualified, these companies will be eligible to tender. They will be considered and evaluated for the award contracts with Udecott.
Udecott said pre-qualification does not guarantee that a company will be invited to submit a tender or the award of contracts. Information provided in pre-qualification applications is confidential, except as otherwise required by law.
In terms of eligibility, applicants (incorporated or otherwise) must be registered in and have a business place in TT. In the case of foreign applicants who are part of a joint venture or other registered and legally recognised arrangement with a registered TT partner, that partner must have a registered business place in TT.
Among the documents which must be submitted as part of the tendering exercise after pre-qualification are: a banker's letter issued in the last three months; a valid Board of Inland Revenue clearance certificate; and at least three client references for major works completed within the last three years.