Wednesday, January 12, 2011

SOCIAL INVESTMENT FUND: STATEMENT ON GULISI SCHOOL


STATEMENT ON THE GULISI SCHOOL PROJECT, DANGRIGA


Belmopan, Monday, January 10 2011:    In view of concerns raised recently in the media in regards to the contractual procedures regarding the Gulisi School Project, based in Dangriga, the Social Investment Fund wishes to categorically state the following:

1.      The Social Investment Fund is an organization established by law in 1996 as the main implementing agency of the Government of projects aimed at reducing poverty in Belize. SIF is funded by the Caribbean Development Bank through regular loans  to the Government of Belize and through grants through its Basic Needs Trust Fund; the World Bank;  the Commonwealth Debt Initiative; the European Union and through local counterpart funding from the Government.

2.       Established in 1996, SIF has implemented over 498 projects valued at $68.2 Million dollars in the       
areas of Water and Sanitation, Health, Education, Economic Infrastructure,  Organizational
Strengthening, Social Services and  Micro-Enterprise Credit.  Since February 2008 alone, SIF has   implemented 102 major projects countrywide worth $21.4 Million dollars benefitting   over 57,000         Belizeans.

3.      SIF is committed to working with all communities throughout Belize and to implement projects in an honest, fair, transparent manner and without fear, favor or ill will. Our cadre of professional staff and engineers are committed to maintain and preserve the highest standards in both the procurement of goods and services and in the implementation of projects as required by law and our funding agencies.

4.      All projects being implemented by S.I.F., approved by the SIF Board, that exceed $200,000 are without exception, subject to national competitive bidding.  This means that tenders for the project are advertised in the national newspapers for over three weeks whereby interested contractors  are invited to purchase their bidding documents.  However, while prospective bidders are afforded the same and equal opportunity on a competitive basis, SIF reserves the right to accept or reject any bid.

5.      Prior to the tenders’ deadline  a visit to the project site  is organized with prospective bidders to allow them the opportunity to acquaint themselves with the physical nature of the project and all the supporting documents, such as bank statements etc, that need to be submitted along with the tender documents. The site visit for the Gulisi Project was done on the 28th of October 2010.

6.      On the day of the deadline, a public opening of tender documents is held at the SIF offices where all concerned parties are invited. This is done in public view and in a transparent manner.

7.      Following the Public Opening of Tenders, an in house Evaluation Committee evaluate all tenders. Factors such as completeness of the bid, meeting the qualification criteria for the contract and lowest evaluated price are used to recommend a bidder.

8.      Once a prospective contractor has been selected, a request soliciting a “No Objection” is made to the organization financing the project.  Once a “No Objection” is secured, all files in regards to the project are then sent to the Contractor General for his perusal and approval of the tendering process.  Signing of the contract then follows and the project then begins.

9.       SIF is committed to providing continuing training to prospective contractors. In this light, a series of training for small contractors was held last year during the month of September, which was also attended by those expressing concern of the Gulisi Project.

10.  We are also committed to dialogue and to work arduously for the betterment of the poorest for the poor in Belize.


Press Release-For further information please contact Mr Mike Hernandez Jr. J.P., Director of Public Relations, Social Investment Fund, at Tel: no. 822-0239 or via email at mike.hernandez@sifbelize.org


You can read more on this matter at http://www.amandala.com.bz/index.php?id=10760

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