Admiral Says US Was Given Green Light to Choose Contractors Under the Musa Administration
According to Admiral John Borland the matter of having the United States authorized to select the contractor for the US funded projects is one that stems from an agreement signed under the Said Musa administration back in 2007. The document, dubbed the Status of Forces agreement is a diplomatic note that gave the United States the authority to select contractors for specific projects.
ADMIRAL JOHN BORLAND
“There were 14 other projects, none of them built by Guatemalans. It is the process by which the contracts are awarded and I said we agreed to that when we signed that agreement in 2007 for the United States government to have the authority to hire any company based on their processes and normally it goes to lowest bidder. When the contracts were awarded to the Belizean contractors we thought that was great but we did not have a hand into who the other contracts would be awarded to. It was something we as a nation state agreed to in 2007.”
While the Musa administration did have a hand in this point of contention for many Belizeans, the parties involved are prepared to revise the situation and take corrective measures as Borland explained.
ADMIRAL JOHN BORLAND
“We’ve met with personnel and military liaison and their attitude is one that there is a problem and we need to fix it and they are willing to compromise and come to terms with our requirements. As I said also in the presentation, we’ve requested based on the stop order that the way forward for the project is that it be subcontracted to Belizean personnel and we take it from there. It is dependent on the decision of the engineers based on what funds are available for the project but that is our request and we would not allow any other conditions other than that at this point. The company BINARQ would have to find a Belizean contractor who would then employ Belizean workers to complete the project and the project is about 75% complete and the remainder of work should then take 3-4 months for it to be completed.”
Binarq is a Guatemalan construction company who was also given the contract in the latter part of 2013 to construct the San Pedro base. The Hunting Caye construction is being done at a cost of two million US dollars and is 75% complete.