Developer Mark Maloney has described as unfortunate, criticisms being levelled at him by the Opposition Labour Party (BLP) over his company’s involvement in the construction of Berth #5 at the Bridgetown Port.
In fact, Maloney, whose Preconco Limited had secured the contract for the project, said he was not prepared to get involved in “a mud-slinging competition” with the BLP.
However, he told Barbados TODAY his company would continue to invest “significantly in this country in everything that we do”.
“It is just unfortunate that people are trying to mislead the public. The true story on what is taking place on everything will come out. The sensationalizing of all these things just seems to be what people want to do everyday, but we are focused on what we have to do and make sure that we do the right thing all the while and goodwill prevail,” the controversial developer said.
Opposition Member of Parliament for St Michael North Ronald Toppin had this week accused the Freundel Stuart administration of a lack of transparency in the awarding of contracts to build new berths at the Bridgetown Port.
What is more, Toppin told Parliament it seemed Government was awarding contracts to the same individuals without putting projects out to tender.
He raised the concern in response to Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy’s revelation that two new berths were likely to be constructed at the port following the completion of the multi-million dollar fifth berth.
“We see the same face, the same name that is tagging this administration where it goes. The contract in this matter was awarded to a Berth Five Limited. Incidentally I didn’t hear the names of any small contractors called.
“Not one bid was invited. There was no tendering process . . . . One man Mr Chairman, is benefiting from all of this. What is wrong with everybody else?” Toppin asked, while calling on Sealy to give Parliament the assurance that he would go through the tendering process for the new berths.
While it was Maloney’s company that secured the contract for the $64 million Berth 5, which included a berthing area for approximately 30 yachts, both CO Williams Construction and Marenco Limited were also involved.
An official source told Barbados TODAY Marenco Limited, which was engaged as a sub-contractor, is the only marine construction specialist company in Barbados with the specialized equipment to construct the marine aspect of such projects.
That meant if Marenco were not involved the marine section of the project would have had to be done by a company from Trinidad and Tobago or further afield.
While a start date has not yet been announced for the construction of the new berths, Sealy said plans were already on the cards.
Marenco Limited has not been asked to be involved in that project, one source said.
“There are certain people in my opinion who are getting away with a lot because there is no accountability and people are getting jobs without them being properly put out to tender. The point is, if you go through a tendering process you still have the option to choose who you want to at the end of the day,” according to the source.