APP says it welcomes progress toward construction of an International Airport, but is disturbed by the way the DLP administration is sourcing funding with MMCE Ltd for the construction of this Flagship Project
The Alternative Peoples’ Party (APP) release says it welcomes any progress being made towards the construction of a much-needed international airport for Dominica. In our 2020/2021 budget response, we declared that had our party been in government, $30,000,000.00 would be approved for an International Airport Resettlement Committee, thereby setting all plans in motion for the constructions of Dominica’s Edward Leblanc International Airport and that construction would commence in the 2021 / 2022 fiscal year. So, we support the construction of Dominica’s international airport, but we remain concerned with the manner in which the project is being advanced. First and foremost, to issue a no-bid contract for the construction of such a vital capital project is a deviation from all conventional norms.
The absence of a thoroughly transparent and competitive bidding process suggests a form of monopoly building that does not happen with such public interest, government projects. There is also the question of contract procurement, as to exactly what prices, material, provision of services, labor, payment/wages, and other considerations. For example, the level of effort and involvement of local contractors. When will the citizens of Dominica receive these details?
The financing of the project must also be clearly articulated before any developmental contract is awarded. It appears as if Montreal Management Consultants Est. (MMCE) has been handpicked to build the airport, and we have some questions. What is the total cost of the project? Has MMCE constructed such a project before? If MMCE is using the people’s citizenship money, who will account to the people & how?
What did the Environmental Impact Study (EIA) say about the proposed site for the project? How long will the construction process take? Who is responsible for project oversight? When were the public consultations held? When was the request for proposals and project management qualification advertised, and what medium was used? Are we placing the cart before the horse with this abruptly announced signing ceremony? What about the operational feasibility study and other economic projections: when will these questions be answered?
What is most worrisome is a Dominica Labour Party (DLP) press release which states that a previously planned partisan event is rescheduled “to coincide with the historic signing of the contract for the construction of the international airport.” Why should this most significant capital project be reduced to a partisan – Red Day – event?
We, the members of the Alternative Peoples' Party, in the interest of transparency and in the true spirit of national unity, call on the authority to report to the people. The government should provide answers to the several unanswered questions ahead of any contract signing, because – after all – this is a project for every Dominican. May the spirit of goodwill reign in our hearts, and may we unite our best efforts in securing a better future for generations of Dominicans to come.
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