Two local companies are disputing various contract awards for the design and project management of Cayman’s new Grand Court building, with one of the firms claiming government is spending in the neighbourhood of $1 million more than necessary to complete the project.
Complaints about the Central Tenders Committee awards were filed with the Office of the Complaints Commissioner by OBM International and DDL Studios Ltd., the CaymanianCompass has learned.
OBM’s complaint concerns the award for architectural design and engineering services for the court building. The DDL matter involves the contract awarded for quantity of surveying and project management services.
The architecture and engineering contract was awarded 19 October to the Burns Conolly Group, a local firm, along with Spillis Candela of Florida. The Burns Conolly bid on the project was $2.26 million, the second-highest bid out of the six companies vying for the project.
Several sources familiar with the proposals told the Compass the Burns Conolly bid was around $1 million more than what OBM International bid.
According to Central Tenders Committee Chairman Terrence Outar, price was not the major consideration in the award of the design and engineering contract. Mr. Outar said 65 per cent of the evaluation was weighted based on technical matters, and 35 per cent was based on the bid price.
Mr. Outar said he had a lengthy discussion with Cindy O’Hara of OBM Wednesday and agreed to take a second look at the process by which the architectural and engineering contract for the Grand Court building was awarded. He said the CTC would review the issue during its regularly scheduled meeting today.
‘Ms O’Hara indicated that it may be possible that a meeting between herself and the (project) evaluation team might help solve the problem,’ Mr. Outar said. He confirmed that the OBM bid was about $1 million less than the Burns Conolly proposal.
The CTC is not required to take the lowest bid on any given project, Mr. Outar added.
‘We go for value for money, which means a number of factors must be taken into account,’ he said.
Attempts to contact Ms O’Hara about the project bid were not successful by press time.
A separate contract for quantity of surveying and project management for the new court building was awarded prior to the architecture and engineering contract. DDL principal Brian Eccels confirmed his company was challenging the contract award, which went to a competitor. Mr. Eccels did not state the nature of his OCC complaint on the project.
Mr. Eccels recently filed another complaint over a CTC award for architecture and engineering services on the Bodden Town Emergency Response Centre contract claiming his lower bid should have been successful. Complaints Commissioner John Epp later ruled that bid, awarded to Kozaily Designs Ltd., was handled fairly.
Mr. Epp said DDL’s bid on the Bodden Town project was ‘so low it caused concern about whether the project could be completed to the desired quality.’
The new Grand Court building will be constructed in George Town in the area between Crewe Road, Lynhurst Road and Agnes Way. When completed, the building will house Summary Court, criminal and civil commercial divisions of the Grand Court, and the Appellate Court.
The building is designed to house all the various court divisions which are now spread around different locations in George Town.