An association spends a quarter million dollars to teach the Government a lesson
Whether it wins, loses or draws a case now pending at the Roseau High Court, the Builders and Contractors Association of Dominica (BCAD) says it wants to teach the Government of Dominica a lesson: you must follow the laws of the country.
And though the case is not yet over, the BCAD has spent more than a quarter million dollars on the legal battle. That's an expensive lesson to teach.
"We knew it was going to cost us a lot and probably the Government thought it would be too much for us to bear but God will help us," said Anthony LeBlanc, the president of BCAD at a press conference at the Public Service Union Conference room last week.
Last year when the government of Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit hired a Barbadian firm to re-build the Roseau West Bridge, at a cost of EC$18 million, the BCAD responded by taking the Government to court for allegedly violating the Procurement Act.
The BCAD filed their last set of documents at the High Court on 2 December 2016 but the judge has not decided whether there's a case for the Government to answer.
In the meantime the bridge is expected to be completed in April 2017.
"The bridge is not the subject matter-it's non-transparent procurement practices that seeks to exclude local players and also the failure of Government to adhere to and implement an Act of Parliament," said LeBlanc. "The Government has administratively repealed an Act of Parliament." But has Government learnt the BCAD's lesson?
Apparently not. LeBlanc suggests that the administration is still violating the Procurements Act.
"How often have you seen a recent advertised procurement event?" LeBlanc said to a reporter who asked him whether the Government has adjusted its behavior in that regard.
"Do your own investigation and come back and tell me," he said.