Attorney-General and Minister of Legal, Anil Nandlall, S.C., will be drafting a new model contract which will set out specific terms and conditions to address contractors who fail to fulfil their obligations in relation to the maintenance and upkeep of drainage pumps in the country.
As part of the new terms to be crafted, contractors who enter into agreements and are found to be in breach of their duties or are negligent in the performance of same, which is found to contribute to flooding, will have to pay compensation.
The contracts will also include a liquidated damages provision, which allows for the payment of a pre-determined sum, agreed to by the parties at the time that the contract is entered into, should one of the parties be found in breach of the contract.
The decision was taken after the Attorney-General and his team met with the Chairman of the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NIDA), Lionel Wordsworth, and the Deputy-Chief Executive Officer (DCEO) of the NDIA, Dave Hicks, on Monday, at the Ministry of Legal Affairs.
That meeting was in keeping with the President, Dr. Irfaan Ali, instructing Nandlall one week ago to immediately review all service and maintenance contracts within the sphere of the Government of Guyana, and the entire State structure, in relation to drainage pumps, sluices, kokers and drainage and irrigation.
Nandlall was tasked with reviewing the general structure of the contracts, and where penalty clauses are found to exist, to enforce those penalty clauses against contractors who are found to be in violation of any aspect of the agreement.
If, upon perusal of those contracts, the Attorney-General was to discover that such penalty clauses are absent, the President had instructed that the contracts be renegotiated for the purpose of inserting penalty clauses, which can be activated when contractors fail to discharge their duties under such contracts.
During the meeting, the contractual documents were examined and the NDIA representatives are expected to provide the Attorney-General Chambers with a brief of the facts and circumstances surrounding non-working drainage pumps that are subject to be maintained and kept functional under those contracts.