‘Prepare for global competition’ – Skerrit to local contractors

Skerrit. * Photo credit: Jamaica Gleaner

Local engineers and contractors are being advised to get prepared for global competition.

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has given the advice ahead of a parliament debate on the draft Contract and Procurement bill and in the midst of much discourse on the hiring of foreign contractors for local projects.

At Monday’s contract-signing ceremony for the Pointe Mitchel sea defense and road project, awarded to Barbados-based C.O Williams Construction Limited, Skerrit cautioned that competition will get tougher as regional integration moves ahead.

“In our commitments under the single market and economy at the Caricom level, there will be nothing called local contractors as opposed to regional contractors,” he said, emphasizing that all companies in the region for instance, will be given similar privileges “and therefore there’ll be no disparity in terms of the conditions you can set on any of these companies”.

Dominica has meanwhile been affording contracts to local contractors in order to boost their skills and by extension gain greater experience, according to Prime Minister Skerrit.

It is hoped the draft Contract and Procurement bill will be passed at the next sitting of Parliament.

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70 Comments

  1. never alone
    March 23, 2011

    I remember sometime last year one of the small islands (maybe St. Lucia) was destroyed by a hurricaine and Trinidad was in a position to help but, the PM of Trini made it very clear that they would only help if her country, particularly contractors benefited. Think of this people! We are talking about a natural disaster and yet, the PM wanted to ensure that her people getting from the bread was a priority. Many of you who are now dancing to a different tune today, creticized the woman for putting her people first. Yet, this administration in previous times indicated that our contractors were not qualified to take up contracts; today, our well loved PM is telling our contractors to “Prepare for global competition.” Are we in a better position to compete now? I guess the eyes have it! By the way, Dominicans are only qualified to vote and shout labour power all day but they are not qualified to work. My God help us! My mother use to tell us that charity begins at home but our leaders are telling us something different today. Please continue to hope and pray!

  2. Natasha
    March 23, 2011

    Why do we make everything into a biggg hoopla? ya’ll act like you know sooo much about what the job entails. I mean seriously, a project like that needs the most skilled person to get the job done. I am not saying that we don’t have very great contractors but barbados is our sister island what is so wrong about giving them the project. I am pretty sure that dominicans are going to benefit from it bec they will need locals as well. The problem with us is all we are seeing is dollar signs, how much money we can get in our pockets, we are not looking at it as an advancement for the country and the fact that finally the wall is going up although i think all those little houses next to the road gotta go too. The PM had the right to call them greedy bec all they see is chi-ching. Another thing is yes our locals have years of experience and skills but how many of them even bothered to advance themselves and get a degree, in the next few years don’t matter how much experience u have in whatever field the man/woman holding that peice of paper is going to have a better chance getting the job than you. We need to look at the big picture and stop making it a political thing, not everyyyything is politics. How did we become this way, seriously what happened we sound like a woman scorned..

  3. DOMNICHEN
    March 23, 2011

    Some of us in Da are so blind when it comes to seeing the truth. The PM is doing what he thinks is right for the country. When it comes to architects, builders and contractors in Da, they are all a bunch of crooks and highway rubbers who rob poor people blind.
    They take on so many different jobs that they cannot complete.
    Do you know how many Dominicans living overseas that sent money home to have their houses built and got swindled? Think again, Mr Skeritt is damn right, giving them those projects would bring embarassment to him, when all the money gets depleted and nothing to show for it.

    Guess what, all of you Skeritt haters out there will be the first one to say that Skeritt stole the money to build a hotel in the sky. Instead of them doing all those Skeritt bashing, they should be out there brushing up on their engineering skills so that the next project would’nt pass them by.

    • Mr Sout City
      March 23, 2011

      So what makes you think the outsiders will do any better.

    • Natasha
      March 23, 2011

      If i knew u i would kiss you and shake your hand… This is my exact sentiment… You hear stories and stories about people living in england the US etc sending money to contractors who have been around for days and when the peeps think their home is done guess what half of the money and material is missing and they can’t give an account. The local contractors are known for those scams. They need to go out there and see how it’s done. Alot of them just show up on the projects acting like they are all that and really don’t do shit. I mean i live in NY and i see white guys doing construction etc and they put their all into it, there is no hanging around, and talking on the phone, and trying to holla at chicks, their sh&^ is on point and they produce great work in the time allocated to them. The locals need to take a page out of that book. But nooo they will come on DNO and bash skerrit, everything that happens i guess it’s his fault.. They will not be upfront and tell the truth but if i can get my house done for 100 grand by a foreigner and the local contractor is charging 120 grand what u think i’m going to do? pleaseeeeeeee…..

  4. Anthony P. Ismael
    March 23, 2011

    This is a delicate subject. While everyone, including myself would love to see our local contractors benefit from CDB funded projects, they must meet the procurement requirements. If a project is fundend for say one million dollars and our local contractors place a bid for 1.5 million dollars, we can’t over pay, just because it’s our local people.
    This is a a cold fact. Our contractors need to embrace the new rules of doing business in Dominica, and they must produce excellent work when given the opportunity. Going over budget and exceeding the alloted time for completion of projects as was the case in the past, is no longer.

    • For Real
      March 23, 2011

      What more bullsh&^ talk. Are u telling me that all bids where local contractors bid have been over bided and is the contractor on the valley and canefield to marigot road a local company.

  5. worried dominican
    March 22, 2011

    i am so happy skerro is doing this, all of them who are saying my prime minister,more is yet to come,wait until there spouse cant put food on the table and the bills cant be paid ,skerro my boy great move let them sing for there supper.

    • The real slim shady
      March 23, 2011

      what’s your real point skerrit hater? I yet to see or understand your point. Don’t you and your friends go in people country and get the jobs while they by-pass the locals? Should someone cry foul and say u guys are taking the jobs? TYPICAL BLACK PEOPLE…. allu never appreciate.. Not too long ago allu were complaining the gov’t not doing enough, now the wall going up oh why he pick a non local to do it yo why can’t anyone please human beings? We are really gready, and shallow and always want more and more. As long as this party is in power don’t matter what they do it wil never be good enough for some of ya’ll, you will stillsay yes he did this “but” i mean get a life… Don’t ya’ll have job instead of complainig like kids all day

  6. Donald
    March 22, 2011

    Global competition ?? that’s a joke !! In reality we would not be able to compete at this stage. There should be a law that says that any such big local projects funded by tax payers should be granted to local companies. The other commentator is correct. Do you see any projects given to outside companies by the other more developed islands ? we as documents become too complacent and satisfied because we see progress in some areas and meanwhile ignore other pertinent issues that are taking place. Wake up and see the biog picture. State house 27 million (import).Wall construction(23 million another import). That is a 50 million deficit. The treasury must be loaded. Who is paying for all this ?

  7. lets get on the move
    March 22, 2011

    I work in the construction industry ..i have work in and out of dominica and let me say we have some of the most talented workers when it comes to the construction industry but as every thing else we take for granted ..when we reach to a level we stop at that same level ,we don’t challenge ourselves to move forward and that’s our problem.. the global crissi is coming and for we, not just dominica but the region …so stop sitting and taking and lets start moving there is still time to start getting our act together

  8. flash
    March 22, 2011

    to be honest,our dominicans constructors like wasting time on projects given to them,but some pple don’t understand that when the project starts, it will have local constructors hired,but u all to busy rumbling u all mouth.no matter want the pm tried doing in the country,u all only give negative comments,why not think straight an help him built dominica? with all the negativity going on,this will not help the country to built up.u all guys to greedy and fast for things to happen in one day.stop stabbing the pm’s back.an lets all put hands together and help him move dominica.cause he is the only one who become PM and doing a good job in the country.the others nothing,besides dominica was looking poorer than haiti.so SHUP UP and learn to love the PM for wat his doing,that help dominica to flourish one day.hating someone only discourage them in doing good.so stop hating on him.he’s trying his best,it’s not easy being an PM,it takes alot of work

  9. Gaza
    March 22, 2011

    woy awa

  10. BB
    March 22, 2011

    Just think of this: You have a child living in your home who has experience in Accounting. This child is responsible for his fair share of rent and other expenses. You’ve recently come to need a service! Guess for what? An accountant! You know of someone who you can hire with experience in accounting as well–they have a “portfolio” but your child does not! This person will charge $400 for the service. You ask your child what the charge would be, s/he says $550! You got a decision to make! Go the cheaper route with someone who you’ve ‘heard’ provide great service through references or help your child build his portfolio/pay $150 more/ and COLLECT RENT!!!

    Which do you choose?

    • Mr Sout City
      March 22, 2011

      That easy!!! Keep the money at home while the child build his/her portfolio..

  11. M
    March 22, 2011

    What the heck is he talking about?

  12. The Foreigner
    March 22, 2011

    My concern is the CRASS way the Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerritt refers to the people who voted him into office. He called them GREEDY and SELFISH.

    If the PM treats his own people in such an undignified manner how will the global competition he speaks of see our local contractors. Will they hire them when the very government they elected do not want to work with them.?

    If the PM knows that the local contractors need greater experience to compete for the jobs, why is he looking to pass a Contract and Procurement bill at the next sitting of Parliament when he knows the local contractors cannot compete with the other islands. He said it himself that they are not trained enough to be awarded the contracts.

    WHO IS THE CONTRACT AND PROCUREMENT BILL SEEKING TO BENEFIT. THE LOCAL CONTRACTORS OR THE FOREIGN CONTRACTORS. Sir think wisely!!!

    PM before you pass any bill ensure that the local contractors are well equipped and are prepared for the global competition you speak of. You cannot throw them under the dump truck and take away their livelihood and the food from their children mouths so that you may join the global competition.

    Don’t forget why you are in office, you cannot build Dominica and at the same time DESTROY HER PEOPLE, HER PRECIOUS RESOURCE!!!!

    • real possie
      March 22, 2011

      so if you give your mom all the time and she still asking and being greedy would u not say she greedy just because they vote for him he should not say so not one off them has spoken out yet

      • The Foreigner
        March 22, 2011

        Yes I understand your analogy, however would you say it to the world that your mother is greedy and selfish? and therefore hinder her progress it this global competitive market? I would not!!! There are some things I keep under the bed with the Potchamp!

        For the PM to make that statement about his people to a global audience can have detrimental effects on the local contractors and the Dominican economy. The Prime Minister’s statement can result in prejudicial publicity for the Dominican Contractors to potential investors or the other Caribbean island or even the global market that he is so fond of.

        How can the local contractors enter the global market when the very government they elected have no confidence in them or their work?

        • real possie
          March 22, 2011

          thats y our kids the way they are today cause we tend to hide thier fault how can they do better when we dont call them out it might just take the public approach to see them take thier abilitys to the nxt level and i dont,meen that crap they talk about nxt level.i dont use that 18-3 s^&t and that nxt
          level i think thats childish.

  13. Quasi Transparency
    March 22, 2011

    It is rather interesting when Dominicans appease foreign companies particularly from countries like barbados that does not readily embrace foreign workers let alone give contracts easily to companies from neibouring islands. I have been to Barbados several times and we need to each conduct the research on how many caribbean companies get projects. I have no problem with open tendering and let the chips fall where they may but, this retoric is conterproductive when a PM is clearly on a war path with local companies that pay his salary. Wow! What a country we need to move away from this victimization at the expense of our locals loosing jobs. I hope the many unemployed Dominicans are taking note because these companies will predominantly come in with the majority of their workers. In short stop that elitice mentality of country against Roseau come on man grow up.

  14. corruption 101
    March 22, 2011

    This is the 1st trick in the book.
    The chances of getting cutbacks far exceed that if local companies are contracted.

    • Mr Sout City
      March 22, 2011

      I was trying my best not to make the comment.

  15. should we pay taxes?
    March 22, 2011

    Hence why so many of the most intelligent Dominicans simplify their lives.
    Does it make sense to hustle?
    Much better to sit drink, smoke, tief when you can…dress in red, wear “Together we must…” On your chest or forehead …and BE Eligible for RED CLINIC hand outs.

    Why hustle…they must come asking for my vote…why not sell it to the highest bidder?

    Life to short to hustle just to have ur tax $ given away…better to be the recipient

  16. Just Giving My Two Cents
    March 22, 2011

    There is no win win situation in Dominica. Dominica will not progress because there are small minded backward ppl who try to remain stagnant. As far back as i can remember, there’s always been an issue of lack of jobs in Dominica. It’s funny how the issue never changes…. but what about the lack of skilled people to fill certain posts.

    It works both ways…but as always… Dominicans just close off their minds and refuse to think outside the box.

    They expect things to be handed to them, without any efforts on their part.

    I’m just wondering “when will Dominicans learn that there are constant possibilities but few probabilities in life, so it’s best to take a chance on what CAN happen.

    Without education and or skills, no matter how many new jobs…. nothing will happen

    • Roseau
      March 22, 2011

      You hit the nail on the head

    • BB
      March 22, 2011

      I don’t think the PM was saying that there was a lack of ‘skill’ on island for this project. I think made reference to the contractors (we would guess they are skilled) being ‘greedy’.

  17. Rastafari
    March 22, 2011

    The bidding process seems fair. The focus now should be on assisting and training the Dominican contractors to compete on a regional and global market. Of course this can’t be totally dependent on government. The contractors need to be organized and show some initiative in that direction so that they can make demands on government. There is strength in unity. behind the dark cloud there is a silver lining. 8)

    • Brain Damage
      March 23, 2011

      Ras, if you are not recognized in your country, you think is over seas you will get it.
      On all job market first think inconsideration is experience.

  18. real possie
    March 22, 2011

    To those of u crying foul this will make da stronger i hope when the locals get paid more than if it was da contractors i hope they say so,cause some of the contractors in portsmouth still pay skilled workers garbage pay.To them it will be better for u guys in the future to those chickenlittle relax the
    pm has seen the future,only when he’s gone u all will see how good he was.

    • Chassy
      March 22, 2011

      Dumb comment- What will you party idiots say to defend a party.

      • real possie
        March 22, 2011

        chassy do u think i realy care about party check my trac record mabe u dont know i was one of the 1st to hit that douglas blows on here for me dominica 1st any party willing to do better i with them

  19. desie
    March 22, 2011

    WHEN ALL YOU TYPING ALL YOU STUPID COMMENTS
    I HOPE AA YOU KNOW ITS TWO SIDED
    DOMINICAN CONTRACTORS CAN ALSO GO IN ANOTHER COUNTRY
    AND TAKE OTHER CONTRACTORS WORK

    • Mr Sout City
      March 22, 2011

      They can, but you need a portfolio. And if you cannot get work at home you think some other country going to hire you.

  20. CONCERNED
    March 22, 2011

    WE ARE USED TO THAT, LABOURITES VOTE DLP IN, AND OTHERS REAPING THE FRUITS, CRAZY, TIM-TIM, LAUREEN, SENATOR ESPRIT, CHARLO, HON DRIGO, PARRY, MAYNARD, JUST TO NAME A FEW…. WHEN WILL LABOURITES GET A SLICE OF THE CAKE??????

  21. Pomgranate
    March 22, 2011

    I am not going to make a comment but would only ask a simple question, and if people are honest then my comment will be their response. The question is for those people who are questioning the reason for granting the project to a foreign company when there were Dominicans who tendered for it. If you are building your family home and you freind is willing to do it at a cost of E.C $50,000 while your brother offered to do it for E.C $80,000 who would you give the job to?

    • mouth of the south
      March 22, 2011

      wat kind of by the bay-side question is that lol,,,, them tings don’t work in high level dealing so,,,, there is professional estimates done so one can’t go overboard with the pricing,,, if the house can be built for $50000.00 will the bank give u a loan of $80000.00 just so u can satisfy ur brother,,,, NO!!!!!! since they have done there estimation they’d know that u are asking too much and won’t risk it,,, come with another question,,,, u may try to spin it but in no way a local contractor going to charge more than a regional contractor,,,,, don’t forget traveling n shipping of employees and equipments and many other charges the regional contractor may have,,,,

      • Mr Sout City
        March 22, 2011

        Thank you!! You finally said something that made sense….

  22. .
    March 22, 2011

    DNO just a little note of concern. Some of the comments has too much profanity. Maybe some of them should not be published. All that name calling can lead to no good.
    To the blogger’s: Dont insult someone just because you don’t agree with them. The rest of the world must be thinking that we are just one big ghetto with so many uneducated people and I am sure that such is not the case.

    • BB
      March 22, 2011

      Haha! u’re not serious. Plz read the blogs of other news networks then write another comment. These comments are mild compared to others I’ve read!

    • Mr Sout City
      March 22, 2011

      Shut up!!! DNO needs to stop moderating the comments…tu

  23. Voice of An Engineer
    March 22, 2011

    Dominicans,
    We have to understand and accept that not all jobs can be given to locals. Some of the major projects need to be given to contractors that are capable of doing the jobs. Contractors needs equipment, experienced personnels, and experience doing the type of jobs which they are contracted to perform. Additionally, they need to complete the job safely, and on schedule. There is no room for practice on these major projects. Obviously, if a Dominican contractor is capable and have the experience in doing the job, they should be given preference.

    A see defence wall is major work (same goes for building an airport, installation of geothermal energy facilities). These contractors will need some laborers, and some skilled workers which can be supplied by Dominica. Remember, It’s not only a about providing jobs, but when there is a jobs costing millions, you can’t afford to get it wrong, there is just one time to get it right- Don’t underestimate the need for a skilled and experience contractor.

    • Engineer Too
      March 22, 2011

      That is why there is a bid qualification requirement, bonds, etc. Obviously the ltwo local contractors met the bid qualifications. It is only through the aquisition of projects that the local contractor can expand. Public funded projects must be assigned with the sole intension of supporting the local industry. After all the tax payers are paying for the project.
      Based on the sea defense wall built in D/ca A sea defence walls built in D/ca I dont consider this new project a major civil project. This is a simple project requiring excavation equipment , compaction equipment, light duty crane for formwork transfer etc – that’s it Our local contractors have built retaining walls before.
      As I’ve said before the government can manupilate every orther system even when it is blatant, immoral and illegal just to fullfill their evil desires. They manupilate the laws of the land , they put square pegs in round holes yet they cannot create conditions that would allow local contractors to win jobs funded by tax payers- You got to be kidding me.

      • leppe
        March 22, 2011

        There many engineering firm in Dominica that branches of regional firms. Firms, like Cep and Caribbean consulting engineer have been doing remarkable work in Barbados and Trinidad. The provide close support in major technical area to the branches in Dominica.

    • country man
      March 22, 2011

      I like your comment but we have seen time and time again that some of these foreign contractors are no more capable that our local contractors. Ask Domlec about the Hydro Electric Project – in the end it turned out to be one of the most costly hydro project per kW installed. Bonding and insurance should be utilized in mitigating some of the risk involved such development projects.

      The real deal is how are we ever going to compete when we never get the opportunity create a track record. Our engineers and professionals go to the same schools and sometimes better schools than those from the foreign companies yet we never get the opportunity to utilize the knowledge and build capacity in our own yard. I am a firm believer that our engineering design capability are second to none and in todays world we can always sub contract out parts of the implementation work if we lack in that regard – that is how we can establish a name and track record not by being the truck driver, time keeper and water carrier. It is 2011 and we need to begin leading projects.

  24. WOOSH
    March 22, 2011

    If there are locals who can do the jobs, why have oversees contractors. Let the money stay in the country. Everybody crying they don’t have jobs and the government want to give the jobs to foreigners. Pure Bull

    • Nervous Rex
      March 22, 2011

      You are a racist.

      • love
        March 22, 2011

        you idiot,, thats why DOMINICA will always remain bottom,,PEOPLE LIKE YOU

      • Hugo Grotius
        March 22, 2011

        @Woosh I support your view, these people just playing politics because they support Labour, Put Dominicans First!

      • Patriotic Citizen
        March 22, 2011

        Rex u need to revisit your dictionary I believe that’s not the term you were wanting to use :-/ :-?

        • Nervous Rex
          March 22, 2011

          Foreigner keyword..that other than the dominican race…..hence being against a race other than the dominican that can be looked as a form of racism hence making woosh a racist…patriotic you may be intelligent but you’re not practical…

  25. moi
    March 22, 2011

    Don’t be fooled – C.O Williams Construction are just subcontracting to a local company.

  26. Sugar
    March 22, 2011

    The prime minister has a point. Dominica don’t have skilled contractors to manage jobs like those. The regional contractors are qualified in their field, all having their degrees in contracting. He could employ regional contractors, but assure them that they need to hire local employees, and not bring in their home based employees, As a result, Dominica contracting will be managed and overseen by qualified people, but still our local contractors will have jobs. Everyone wins at the end.

    • mad man
      March 22, 2011

      total ignorance

  27. Piper
    March 22, 2011

    Competition is always a good thing. The local companies should be given priority, but they need to sharpen their pencils. They need to develop best practices, get equipment to increase their productivity, learn techniques that will allow them to submit competitive bids. They cannot rest on their laurels thinking they have a leg up because they are local.

    Having said that, the government should work with those firms to ensure they can assist them in getting to a position where they can compete adequately.

  28. neutral
    March 22, 2011

    Remember barbados and trinidad are not joke place like DA alyo take too much thing for granted here thats y things will pass by and leave all running there mouth

  29. lol
    March 22, 2011

    Smh so many people in dominca out of work ur damn fool

    • tok tok tok
      March 22, 2011

      if they pull enough strings i’m sure they’ll create positions for all of them with the big degrees they sending to study man. just make sure u know somebody, so it is.

  30. Mr Sout City
    March 22, 2011

    So he is basally that he is going to start outsourcing jobs. I hope he know that this is part of the reason that the United States is going broke.

    • onlooker
      March 22, 2011

      nothing about out sourcing jobs he just letting them know prepare themseles cause not only will foreigner take your project they will take your jobs once u have caribbean integration and free movement so before u all start running off mouth do omething with your free time read and get knowledge

      • tea
        March 22, 2011

        I concur!!!!!!!

      • WOW
        March 22, 2011

        The prime Minister is very right, with CSME, u have very highly educated people going to different country seeking employment. The statement by the Prime Minister is for us all to educate ourselve to compete with the region. I Barbados, Jamaica and other country you have 18 years old with degree and down in Dominica is maybe 1% or less. Look at our queen earlier this months, none of the girls could answer the questions, if you had given that same questions to a foreigner they would have answered it. So please poeple let not bash the Prime Minister but look at his statement as a mean to educate ourselves.

        • Mr Sout City
          March 22, 2011

          The irony of this reply.. :( .

  31. Hugo Grotius
    March 22, 2011

    One thing i know, No Bajan Government will put a Dominican contracting company before a Bajan, same goes for Trinidad. You people take pride in oppressing your own people!

    • Piper
      March 22, 2011

      Do you have any idea how many Chinese companies are doing construction work in Trinidad? Do some research before you speak.

      • Anonymous
        March 22, 2011

        Piper, it’s pointless trying to educate these people.

        • Anti-hate
          March 22, 2011

          It is not pointless to try to educate them.

          People like Hugo and MOTS are commenting on every article, using DNO to spread misinformation, and it is important for people like yourself, and Piper, and John Brown and Wikileaks and Patat and myself etc to provide an alternate viewpoint and let people make informed conclusions.

        • Hugo Grotius
          March 22, 2011

          Idiot i said Dominican! Trinidad has to honor any agreements they have with the Chinese Government.
          Just like when the Chinese do projects in Dominica. Don’t u get it? We must give our people priority and stop the ignorance.

      • baby girl
        March 22, 2011

        NOT THERE FAULT PIPER THEY NEED TO TRAVEL

        • Hugo Grotius
          March 22, 2011

          You people boasting scholarships all over the world, but when it comes to jobs, Foreigners come first, wicked set of people.

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