Good Afternoon – welcome to Darrell’s Wharf where I am joined by the Executive Director of the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation, Mrs. Erica Smith and the Acting Chief Engineer, Mr. Tariq Christopher to expand on the Short Term Stimulus Programme, including its methodology and tendering process and contract award to a maximum value of BMD $13,385,000.
There is an urgent need to provide stimulus to the local economy in order to retain and boost employment numbers in the wake of the economic downturn sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Ministry of Public Works has compiled a list of “shovel ready” projects that are executable within 3 months. These projects are mostly infrastructure improvements and will not add further burden to government operational expenses. The project’s selection principles are to maximize the employment of the private sector while providing much-needed refreshing of neglected infrastructure.
In order to engage as wide a segment of the private sector as possible, the Ministry will release a Request for Suppliers Qualifications [RFSQ] across multiple disciplines to generate a prequalification list of approved contractors/companies that can participate in the programme. This approach will be in line with Pre-Qualification Procedure and Approved Contractor lists of the Code of Practice for Project Management and Procurement. The prequalification criteria will include a scoring of technical competence, local employment benefit, and a schedule of unit rates. Suitable companies will then be added to an approved contractor list.
With the development of the list, the Ministry would then use the restricted procedure (section 16 of Code) to quickly obtain three or more quotations from the various suppliers, grouped by suitability and vocation, to select a contractor for each 2 project. Where works are specialized, or contractors’ availability is limited, either through companies already obtaining a project from the programme or natural scarcity, a Single Source contract will be negotiated based upon the unit rates. The work to be done under this contract and in accordance with these specifications consists of furnishing of equipment, material, supervision, labour, technical knowledge, and skills necessary to satisfactorily and safely complete the job as outlined in the agreement.
To ensure allocation of the stimulus funding across all the participating businesses, the Ministry will maintain a register of approved contractor lists and awarded contracts to ensure that no one company monopolizes the project list. Once a company obtains a project, they will be rotated to the bottom of the list for consideration to allow other companies an opportunity for work. The guiding principle would be to prioritize all companies that provide the most employment benefit per dollar spent and spread the work among Bermudian owned and operated businesses.
The RFSQ process will be launched tomorrow, December 18th and it is envisioned that the award of contracts can begin in January 2021, following the population of the Approve Contractor List.
During the Throne Speech a few weeks ago – I announced that the Government’s Capital Expenditure Plan Technical Committee, which has been meeting to expedite public sector capital investment focusing on construction projects, has developed an initial capital expenditure stimulus plan of 45 projects with a maximum value of BMD $13,385,000. A number of these projects have already started, the first of which was announced earlier this month – the Roof Top Solar PV Systems being installed on 4 government buildings.
The plan is to utilise medium to small contractors for the work that will be done here at the Darrell’s Wharf pier and other similar projects including other dock and building refurbishments, new construction, Canal clearance, roadside vegetation and health & safety improvements to various government locations. Projects such as fixing the Coney Island Bridge and replacing roadside railing across the country.
The Ministry is working in consultation with the Office of Project Management and Procurement [OPMP] as well as the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation [BEDC]. The intention is for BEDC to provide assistance to small and medium sized Contractors to complete the required submission documents for the RFSQ. More on that from the Director shortly.
Many small to medium sized Companies may not have experience in responding to government solicitations and the associated procurement requirements and this assistance will significantly increase their ability to gain work through the stimulus program.
We are determined to involve as many small and medium sized contractors as possible and are providing every opportunity for them to become involved. I invite all those who view this announcement and know a small or medium sized contractor to inform them of this initiative. Effective tomorrow they can gain more information by signing on to the government website at https://www.gov.bm/procurement/rfsq-stimulus-program or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
We can pay people to sit at home or we can pay them to repair our infrastructure – we choose the latter.
I’ll now ask the Executive Director of BEDC, Mrs. Erica Smith to say a few words.