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Contractors urged to bid for stimulus programme jobs

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Small and medium-sized businesses can now take the first step towards qualifying to bid on infrastructure construction projects included in the Government’s $13.4 million short-term economic stimulus programme.

Announcing details of the submission process for contractors today, public works minister David Burch said: “We can pay people to sit at home, or we can pay them to repair our infrastructure. We choose the latter.”

Mr Burch said the ministry has compiled a list of “shovel-ready projects that are executable within three months”.

He said contracts will range in value from $15,000 to $800,000, and will begin to be awarded in January.

The ministry estimates that the projects will provide work for 243 people.

Mr Burch added: “These projects are mostly infrastructure improvements and will not add further burden to government operational expenses.

“The project’s selection principles are to maximise the employment of the private sector while providing much-needed refreshing of neglected infrastructure.”

Jobs up for bid include repairs to stairs at the Darrell’s Wharf dock, other dock and building refurbishments, new construction, repairs to the bridge at Coney Island, the clearance of canals, replacement of roadside railings across the island, clearance of roadside vegetation, and the fit-out of buildings.

Businesses across the construction trades are invited to respond to government’s “request for supplier qualifications” in order to be considered for inclusion on an “approved contractor” list.

Staff from the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation will be available to assist businesses with their submissions to the public works ministry.

That effort will be led by William Spriggs, BEDC’s director of economic and co-operative development.

Mr Burch said pre-qualification criteria will include a scoring of technical competence, local employment benefit, and a schedule of unit rates.

Contractors that qualify for the approved list will be sent details of the various projects according to their area of expertise, and invited to provide quotations.

Mr Burch said the ministry will obtain three or more quotations from the various suppliers, grouped by suitability and vocation, to select a contractor for each project.

He added: “Where works are specialised, 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.”

Mr Burch said that when a company wins a project contract, it will be rotated to the bottom of the list for consideration “to allow other companies an opportunity for work”.

He added: “The guiding principle would be to prioritise all companies that provide the most employment benefit per dollar spent and spread the work among Bermudian owned and operated businesses.”

The involvement of the BEDC to assist with the submission process is by design, the public works minister said.

Mr Burch added: “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 programme.

“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.”

The contracts to be awarded beginning in January constitute the balance of the 45 short-term projects having a maximum value of $13.385 million that were announced earlier by the Government.

They are being financed with part of the proceeds of government’s debt raise of $1.35 billion in the bond markets.

Small and medium-sized businesses can find more information by signing on to the government website at https://www.gov.bm/procurement/rfsq-stimulus-program, or by emailing stimulus@gov.bm.

Any small and medium-sized businesses in the construction industry wanting assistance from the BEDC with their submissions are invited to contact the organisation at info@bedc.bm or 292-5570

Stimulus programme: David Burch, the Minister of Public Works, flanked by acting chief engineer Tarik Christopher and Erica Smith, executive director of the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
Up for bid: The repair of stairs at the Darrell’s Wharf dock is to be among the infrastructure jobs up for bid as part of government’s short-term economic stimulus programme ( Photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published December 17, 2020 at 6:15 pm (Updated December 17, 2020 at 6:14 pm)

Contractors urged to bid for stimulus programme jobs

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