Contractors cry out for monies owed by CH&PA
Several small contractors are crying out in frustration as the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) continues to withhold payment for works completed several months ago. A common thread seems to be the desire to remain anonymous, as many of the contractors surmise that if they openly complain to the media the punishment would be that they would not be hired in the future. However, frustration continues to grow. The contactors are saying that the Authority has put them in a “tight spot” because they have bank loan repayments to satisfy and “we have men to pay. This is our livelihood and these men have their families depending on them.” Different contractors have related different stories told to them by the Authority as to why they are not being paid. One contractor said that he completed his project since February and “every day you are hearing a different story from housing, one day you hear is (Hamilton) Green fault, next day is some problem with the engineer.” Contacted earlier this week, CH&PA Chairman, Hamilton Green said, “I have asked for a report on this matter because apparently we got an engineer’s report on it and some of the contractors have not completed works satisfactorily. We have discovered some poor work…everything is being reexamined, we inherited a lot of lawlessness.” However, the works done by most of the contractors who are complaining have been completed this year and not under the previous administration as Green suggested. Contractors are claiming they did the work on par with contract specification and were given a clean bill after inspection. When told this, Green said, “If they got a clean bill they will be paid, I haven’t seen that.”
Some contractors even presented pictures of their work as it was being inspected by engineers attached to the Authority. “Now I do not know what Green is trying to say here, if that was the case wouldn’t they have either penalized us or made us do repairs, it is nothing of the sort,” lamented a frustrated contractor. Another contractor said, “Housing never told me anything about inadequate works.” Many of the contractors say that they have been told that the cheques could not have been signed because Green was out of the country for a while and there is no one to sign their cheques.