Tender troubles stall mental health facility

| 11/03/2019 | 28 Comments
Cayman Islands Mental Health Facility

Cayman Islands Long-term Residential Mental Health Facility, artist’s rendition

(CNS): The health ministry is re-doing the tender process for the long-awaited and much-needed residential mental health facility after it appears the original tendering process failed to secure a deal with any of the previous bidders. Government officials have failed to explained what happened with earlier attempts to find a contractor to build the facility, which was scheduled to get underway last summer. But in a press release Friday they said the work was being repackaged into five separate jobs to encourage small- and medium-sized contractors to submit bids.

While the ministry has not given any details on the stalled process, CNS understands from other sources that the amount of construction now underway in Cayman is fuelling a significant increase in building costs and causing a shortage of labour. As a result it appears that government was unable to come to an agreement with a contractor that had been selected following the first tender.

The chief officer in the health ministry, Jennifer Ahearn, said nothing about what caused the change of plan, what had happened with the previous bid or anything about the delay in the groundbreaking, but said that “the ministry is fully committed to driving the process forwards to a timely resolution”.

In the latest release about the project it now appears that work is unlikely to start until later this year, with the goal of finishing the centre before the end of 2020. The new tender covers five separate parts of the project, starting with the enabling works and site preparation; the second tender is for the main building, the third for the cottages, with the last two jobs dealing with the site finishing and exterior work.

“It is expected that contracts will be awarded to the successful bidders on the first three packages this year, with work set to begin in late 2019. The final two packages will be tendered in 2020 and are expected to be completed the same year,” officials stated.

The ministry began the new request for submissions last week for the $1 million centre, which, according to the original plans, will be set on around 15 acres of land in East End. The plans include nine cottages that will accommodate up to six patients each (a maximum capacity of 54 patients), with a central building for administration, dining and other activities. An orchard and vegetable garden are also expected to play an important part of the facility.

Once completed, the project will enable residents of the Cayman Islands suffering from serious and chronic mental illness to be cared for locally in a purpose-built environment, and this will form part of the continuum of care for mental health services.

Health Minister Dwayne Seymour said re-tendering the project in smaller jobs would allow smaller contractors to take advantage of the opportunity, though he, too, failed to explain what had happened over the last year that led to the do-over.

“We believe that making projects like this accessible to all sizes of business is a critical part of supporting our local economy in a sustainable way,” Seymour stated.

The tender documents are available through the CIG online procurement portal.

Interested contractors may email Senior Project Manager Niasha.Brady@gov.ky

Bids are due by 22 March.

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Category: Health, Mental Health

Comments (28)

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  1. Elvis says:

    This will never happen, they will continue to send them to jail. What a disgrace hang your heads all politicians

  2. Anonymous says:

    I think we’re finding more and more frequently there isn’t much substance in these announcements, just an excellent PR opportunity at the time.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I find it unbelievable that site prep, 9 cottages, and an administration building can be done for $1M. The ridiculous boardwalk in South Sound cost more than this (which is totally unacceptable). My only hope is that the long overdue mental health facility is given adequate facilities, and not short changed because of “budget constraints”.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Long story short, Government didn’t like the prices it actually costs to build so want it done cheaper. Then they will moan and act dumbfounded when it goes over budget. This happens in the residential sector all the time. Clients pick the cheapest contractor and then act confused when their houses only get to 80 percent completion and the money is all gone. This kind of business hurts honest contractors while the people that underbid collect their paychecks, shut down their companies when they cant finish a job and open new ones in a different name and repeat the process.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Stalled because the right kickbacks and backhanders haven’t been received? Thought so.

    This stinks of corruption!

    • Anonymous says:

      There isn’t enough money to build it, even cheaply, let alone grease the wheels (wallets) of decision-making. They’ll have a long wait. The port is much more profitable

  6. Anonymous says:

    Same Island different Day (SIDD)

  7. Anonymous says:

    Proving once again. There is nothing on this earth experienced professionals can and are doing that Caymanian government officials can not.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Disgraceful but to be expected of this government.
    They really don’t care except if there is a $ cut for them. And the location beggers belief suppose the saying out of sight out of mind.
    Can’t have our fat burger munching cruise tourists seeing we have a mental health facility

  9. Anonymous says:

    That is because the cobbler should stick to his last. They are incompetent in other words. Watch and see, it wiil be another failure.

    • Anonymous says:

      5 43? Do google lass. That is what a cobbler uses. Last is used only when you say first and last. Or you might say shoes or things that last for a long time.
      Just want others to learn more new words.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Something smells very fishy with the whole tendering process.

    What exactly is going on here?

  11. Anonymous says:

    Thank you CIG for staying the course on this essential facility. Hopefully the private sector will submit sensible bids and actually keep cost down. How orginal would that be.

    But them again this is the same private sector that continues to try and rip off CIG and then complain about the high cost of Government.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Putting it out to bid on this manner:

    1. Guarantees that it will cost the public more than it should; and

    2. Enhances the electibility of the politicians responsible.

    How is this not blatant “vote buying” and how is this even legal?

    • Anonymous says:

      …seemingly so corrupt in their approach that no one even notices it. Move along. Nothing to see here.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Wow our minister Seymour will now get him a whole bunch of “small contractors” who will get us a real cheap job. More wasted funds. You can bet the designers/consultants have made a good dollar on it though. More maple leaf’s for ya!

  14. Anonymous says:

    This gov’t doesn’t care about mental health, drug rehabilitation, juvenile homes or turtle conservation. They sooner commit to boondoggles in the tens or hundreds of millions where they can easily hide their cuts.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Still believe the mental facility should be constructed near the hospital and close to emergency services. Am I to think that all mental persons are safe? If so, what about future mental patients who deemed mental by the courts and is unable to be imprisoned? Will they be able to freely stroll the neighborhood and the safety of the neighbors?

  16. Anonymous says:

    Amazing how government can push through a 100+ million dollar dock and not be able to build a care centre for those needing mental health care.

    • Anonymous says:

      Did you not read the article. There was an issue finding a single large contractor to do the whole thing and so the project is moving forward as separate projects. This allows smaller contractors to bid for parts of the whole. Get your facts straight before incorrectly criticizing.

      • Anonymous says:

        They also said it was due to all the construction on the Island. Pity the poor man trying to build a house. Wait till they start the skyscraper. Time to stop the madness.

      • Anonymous says:

        Seriously? You read “opening it up to support smaller contractors”?

        I read “Tried to build a whole mental health facility for less than the cost of a short foot path in South Sound and were then ‘surprised’ nobody would do it”

    • Anonymous says:

      its harder to hide your kickbacks on this sort of thing. Better to chose your moment.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Who are the consultants, are they Island based with local experience..?
    How complete are the construction and contract documents..?
    Is there a construction professional managing the bidding process, or is it the usual civil servants stumbling in the dark that brought us the John Gray and Clifton Hunter schools fiasco..?

  18. Anonymous says:

    That’s just crazy

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