Millions in cost overruns at ADOMS and Treasury buildings

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In 2013, then PM Spencer broke ground for the start of construction
More than two years after it’s scheduled completion, and after millions in cost overruns, the Antigua & Barbuda Department of Marine Services & Merchant Shipping is asking the government for more money to complete its headquarters.
The unfinished ADOMS Building on Factory Road across from the Sagicor Building started in 2013 under the former United Progressive Party government.
The government now admits that it “has been plagued with cost overruns.”
According to its own figures, It was to have cost $17 million dollars and take less than 24 months to construct.
“The ADOMS building has cost nearly $30 million dollars thus far and has been under construction for more than 48 months,” notes from the Cabinet reveal.
The building manager has requested yet another $1 million dollars to complete the building by the end of 2018.
Meanwhile, the unfinished Treasury Building at the corner of St. Mary’s Street and Independence Avenue is to be completed by November 2018, according to the government.
The building started under the UPP in 2012, and was to have been completed almost four years ago; “it has been plagued with unusual cost overruns.”
The government did not state the amount.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Just to those who always claim that I have been a defender of this government. I have written comments on this topic before.
    I believe this government and previous are just being pennywise and pound foolish’.
    And not only in this case. You see it almost in every case where controls need to be put in place in order to ensure that we get Value for Money as the PM always says. We always fail to pit people, such as qualified accountant in place, because we feel we do not want to pay a qualified accountant what he is worth, But we keep loosing thousands and millions in the process and our systems of control remain very very week, I am in particular disappointed with the PM because he more than everyone understand the necessity of controls. I have rung the bell at Social Security and National Housing. The PM once instructed Lennox Weston to take a much closer look at this institution. SJDC I have also indicated the weakness down there. we have seen how we lost millions to a local company without them having to do zero dredging the harbour. Look athe AR of SJDC and that will tell you more than enough. Everywhere it is the lack of strong accountants control that cause the Treasury or the SEC to bleed lots of money.
    Whenever you start a project you ensure you hire a project manager that will have the responsibility to monitor the progress step by step. In construction you not only hire the contractor, but you hire as the client an independent QS or a Construction Management Firm to manage the project for you. Tell me what good will and Audit do you after the fact. No body really has stolen monies. Nobody has been overpaid if that is what you looking for. The project has just not been managed properly. And that is the result of not having the proper Construction Management Company in place. We saw the same over run at the Library project. The UPP hired when it was must too late a QS out of England. Total waste of time,. And than you had Public Works trying to oversee the project as well. Sorry but these are specialize areas not for Dr. Hanley with all his titles. I have been in charge of many projects for the owner and I have always ensure that I was backed by professional Construction Management firms out of Trinidad and Barbados. They have done a wonderful job. Keeping the construction company to the timelines and to the bill of quantities. Overruns where promptly discussed and carefully analyzed who will bear the cost. Contractors hate Construction Management Companies, cause they keep them on their toes every step of the way. And they charge a percentage of the contract cost. But they ensure you get value for money. Many private individuals know the horrors very well of dealing with contractors. They bust on the job. give you poor work and if you cannot continue to pay them they run of the job. leaving you with an un-finished property. Sometimes the problem lies with the Architect. Therefore it is necessary that a CM firm is independent looking at your project. And your contractor must have a bond in place to give you that security and proper building insurance. As the property under construction remain the builders responsibility until its handed over. Whether in part of complete.
    Once again my call Mr. PM. there are no proper system of control at National Housing. The workers and contractors have told me so and I have visit sites myself. Contractors in Antigua and really all over the world, do nothing less but to find your weak spots and exploit them. They do that in the use of material or the use of labour. Do you know of all the steel is used on or for your project? And how can you tell. Just because NH is a government owned company doesn’t mean it should not adhere to best practices. And try to stay in budget.
    Please Mr. PM. you are bleeding lots of monies which is not easy to come by.

      • tenman when I comment hear is not that i have not already communicated that to the PM. He is aware. I do this in opposition to him listening to the so called faithfuls. I told him long time that Gardener was not suitable and qualified to run the jobs. Finally he listened. But I still am not please with the competent of the new person. Look Stanford left behind a slew of competent project managers. Tap in to them. And as I said don’t be pennywise to say you cannot pay them. The are worth their money. That is why I always believed that the UPP made a stupid move to liquidate the SDCL. This is a company with many assets and a wealth in Human Resources. All that was needed is a new mission and a new business model. they could have easily buy up the company and bring it under government control. But the UPP was afraid of legal action. And what happened now is that the receivers got rich and some people end up with properties in their pockets at peanut prices.
        I was also discussion this with the auditor Panell Kerr and they have agreed with my vision that the main weakness of all government agencies is the accounting department. And all because they refused to put qualified people in place. And in the end they keep loosing thousands and millions of dollars. Pennywise and Pound Foolish. Just go throw the list and analyse for yourself. Every SOC or SEC where they do not have a qualified person in place the books are either behind or and they suffer from loses year after year. And audit firms should stop signing off on accounts when they dam well know the accounts do not fairly represent the company’s assets and liabilities.
        What happened at ABIB should have disqualified Pannell from practicing in Antigua for a long time. Just like Enron. but then many others in high places even the ECCB should have to take the blame.

  2. Brethen the initial price tag was 24 million not 17(provided an earlier.link but it has been blocked). Timeline changed from the very beginning hence the price was impacted. They also made some major upgrades to the original plan. A major issue here was financing. The original plan was to involve more than one stat corp hence spreading the cost bit adoms wanted their own thing and has had problems financing it.

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