Some local contractors are said to opting against bidding for Government contracts that are becoming less profitable.
This is because they are being extorted by dirty cops, the members of parliament for whichever constituency the work is to be undertaken and of course dons.
The disclosure was made by former Contractor-General Dirk Harrison during a public lecture at the St Luke’s Church in Cross Roads, St Andrew on Wednesday (Oct 23).
Harrison said this has made the situation of the contractors more tenuous as they are already faced with stiff competition from foreigners who enjoy vast concessions from the government.
He said he knew of contractors who refused to vie for government contracts due to the widespread corruption between the processes of bidding and competition.
‘He said when he tried to make 50 per cent profit… having to pay the local don in the community, the member of parliament, and the police, there was nothing left.’— Dirk Harrison
“In speaking to a contractor, he indicated he would not bid on any more government contracts. He said when he tried to make 50 per cent profit… having to pay the local don in the community, the member of parliament, and the police, there was nothing left for him, so it was no longer profitable,” he said.
Harrison said that there was urgent need to address the corruption plaguing Jamaica.
On the issue of foreign contractors, he said foreign and local contractors must be required to operate on a level playing field. He said preferential treatment should not be given to non-nationals to the detriment of local contractors.
‘the local contractors cannot competitively submit bids, much less make a profitable return.’— Dirk Harrison
“You cannot allow foreign contractors to avoid taxes and custom duties by virtue of exemptions and waivers and local contractors are not given that benefit. The economies of scale are such that the local contractors cannot competitively submit bids, much less make a profitable return, when mitigating factors include extortion and corruption,” he added.