Sutherland explains cost overruns on Chinese steel project

Sutherland explains cost overruns on Chinese steel project

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Minister of Housing Dwight Sutherland stood in front of a set of three completed quads yesterday conceding that some mistakes were made as he attempted to clear the air regarding cost overruns associated with the Chinese steel houses project.

Speaking during a press conference at Haggatt Hall, called five days after a Sunday Sun story on the Auditor General’s revelation about the millions, Sutherland explained that the flagged overruns were as a result of several external factors beyond the control of his ministry.

However, the minister acknowledged that due to the exigency of the situation some mistakes were made as it related to due diligence on the project.

He also suggested that there were some discrepancies in the Auditor General’s report. For starters, he said that by their calculations the cost overruns amounted to $19.1 million and not the $23.4 million in the report. He also said that 61 units have been completed as opposed to the 22 reported by the Auditor General.

Electricity not included

Sutherland made it clear that there was no mismanagement of public funds even with the cost overruns as he stood outside the 12 completed steel units.

“A number of factors, many beyond the ministry’s control, have impacted this project, including increased costs. Two of the most significant factors leading to increased costs were the following: infrastructure development such as roads and the installation of electricity; the second factor was labour,” Sutherland said.

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