Speculation is rife that the state-owned Grenada Solid Waste Management Authority (GSWMA) is handing out contracts worth thousands of dollars without utilising the established tendering process.
A well-placed source told THE NEW TODAY newspaper that the contracts are often given out to persons who are known to be associated with the ruling New National Party (NNP) government of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell.
He cited the case of the contract that was given to St. Andrew Island Supply Ltd that is owned and operated by a political activist of the ruling party in the St. Andrew South-east constituency.
He said the contract was taken away from another NNP operative in the Birchgrove area before it was given to Island Supply.
“(Name withheld) said to us when the contract was taken from him it was not yet expired”, he added.
The source stated that a number of persons in the community were behind the previous contract holder and felt that he should have sued Solid Waste for breach of contract but he did not.
“I guess he didn’t want to upset them just in case he lose the other one (another contract with government)”.
THE NEW TODAY understands that Solid Waste has taken a decision to terminate the contract awarded to Island Supply for non-performance although the contract is due to end in August.
The source also mentioned the lack of transparency in a street cleaning contract for the rural parish of St. Patrick that was awarded to someone with close ties to a senior management personnel at GSWMA.
He spoke of wanton conflict of interest the order of the day at the authority with some persons who are now employed with Solid Waste getting contracts to do jobs for the state body itself.
He pointed a finger at a high-level employee who is now working with Solid Waste after being employed for a number of years with another statutory body.
“There is a newly constructed lunch room which was recently constructed at the landfill (at Perseverance). The plan was drawn by that very same (name withheld) (who) at the time was still an employee of (name of state body withheld) and the building was done by the same (name withheld) in-law.
According to the official, the same individual is also currently engaged in construction work for (name of state body withheld), as well as currently constructing a building for that very same (name withheld).
“So you see the ring that is going on in Solid Waste. Trust me it (is) very serious”, he remarked.
“Isn’t it conflict of interest that (name withheld) who was also instrumental in the dismissing of Kent Linton, the former Project Co-ordinator to the CDB Solid Waste Integrated project is holding the post as (position withheld) and who also was demanding a salary of $20,000 for the Project Co-ordinating work?
This newspaper was told that the morale of the staff at Solid Waste “is very low” with many employees complaining that “a cabal” was running the place along the lines of “a managerial dictatorship”.
The source said that the recent expose by THE NEW TODAY on GSWMA has embolden staffers and was confident that “more workers are going to contact you” with information about questionable activities taking place at Solid Waste.