Skip to main content

SOCU files charge against former Minister Patterson over new Demerara Bridge consultancy contract

Mr. Patterson

January 22 ,2021

Source

This morning, Mr. Patterson was invited to visit the SOCU headquarters and upon his arrival with his Attorney, News Source understands that he was immediately arrested, fingerprinted, charged, and released on self-bail.

More than three years after a probe was conducted into the awarding of a contract for a feasibility study for the new Demerara bridge, the Guyana Police Force through the Special Organised Crime Unit has filed a criminal charge against former Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson.

According to Police sources, Mr. Patterson is expected to appear in Court on Monday to face a charge of attempting to defraud the Demerara Harbour Bridge of $167 million.

This morning, Mr. Patterson was invited to visit the SOCU headquarters and upon his arrival with his Attorney, News Source understands that he was immediately arrested, fingerprinted, charged, and released on self-bail.

The matter about the awarding of a contract for a feasibility study for the new Demerara Bridge has been before the Special Organised Crime Unit since 2017.

The investigation came to an end in 2018 after the then Police Legal Advisor, Justice Claudette Singh advised that there was no basis for a criminal charge or the continuation of the probe.

The Police Commissioner at the time had also closed the investigation after finding no criminal conduct.

However, the investigation was revived in November last year on the insistence of new Minister of Public Works Juan Edghill.

Mr. Edghill has been contending that due process was not properly followed in the awarding of the consultancy contract for the bridge to the Dutch company, LievenseCSO.

The contract was awarded by the Demerara Harbour Bridge Corporation following public advertisements for consultants to conduct the feasibility study.

News Source understands that the former General Manager of the Demerara Harbour Bridge, Rawlston Adams is also likely to face the same charge that has been thrown at the former Minister.

Former Bridge General Manager Rawlston Adams with a representative from the Consultants

The move by SOCU to file charges against the former Minister comes on the heels of several revelations by the current Public Works Minister Juan Edghill on gifts that were purchased for the former Minister by agencies under his watch for special occasions.

Patterson has admitted to receiving the gifts but has indicated that he never made requests or solicited them. He also said it was a practice by many government agencies under various governments to purchase gifts for their subject Ministers for special occasions.

Former Minister Patterson is an Opposition Member of Parliament and the current Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, which overlooks government’s spending.

Edghill wants him to resign from that position. Patterson has refused and the Opposition is sticking at his side.

Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

Minister Patterson cleared of allegations in new Demerara Bridge project

Last Updated on Friday, 14 June 2019

The previously proposed three-lane new Demerara River Bridge.

The Guyana Police Force on Friday indicated that Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson has been cleared of corruption and other allegations concerning the hiring of a Netherlands-based company that conducted a feasibility study for a new Demerara River bridge.

The police force’s Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) received legal advice that there was no misuse of funds, no evidence that a criminal offence was committed and no evidence of any collusion between Arie Mol/Lievense CSO and staff of the Ministry of Public Infrastructure.

Investigators had probed allegations by the opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) that Patterson had awarded a contract to Arie Mol/Lievense CSO to conduct the feasibility study for the new river crossing without an award by the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB). The Procurement Commission had found that Patterson had allegedly breached the Procurement Act and Guyana’s Constitution by sole-sourcing the contract without going through NPTAB.

Opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) lawmaker, Juan Edghill had called on Patterson to explain how was it that a total of GYD$148 million was paid to the Dutch company, Lievense CSO Engineering Contracting BV, for an unsolicited feasibility study, but figures show that GYD$227 million was paid over by the Demerara Harbour Bridge for that job.

Edghill had claimed that in 2017 the Asphalt Plant of the Demerara Bridge paid GYD$153,250,385 on the feasibility study and in January, 2018 an additional GYD$14,728,000 and in February GYD$59,340,00 was spent on the project.

Add Reply

Post

×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×
×