LETTERS From Denis Jackson, Cowes:
READERS of your article (School builder could face cash penalty, CP 07-09-12) must find it impossible to believe that a multi-million pound contract for a major Island school, entered into between the main contractor for the college and the IW Council, is so managed that no firm completion date has so far been reported or forthcoming — slippage simply follows slippage.
Is there a meaningful contract with a firmly binding completion date for this college or not? It would appear not. Neither does it appear any meaningful penalty clause exists should the contractor fail to achieve the contracted completion date.
For the council’s director for schools and education services to be reported as saying that it would not be appropriate to seek claims until the end of the contract period, in March next year, would simply imply to any reader that the contractor has until next March to complete the project.
What financial incentive does it have to complete any earlier? In my view the delay has nothing whatsoever to do with the weather, as the article suggests, for living close by the project, I have been frequently surprised to see little or no evening or weekend working, week after week, month after month.
And having been a manager in industry for some 40 years, working to ministry contracts with meaningful penalty clauses, it was obvious to me that no such clauses existed in the case of this building project.
When it is finished, it is simply finished, whatever the timescale. And this for a major school project on the Island affecting countless teachers, parents and pupils!
Perhaps if the council had fully enforced the pertinent clauses of this contract from the very beginning of the delays, the pupils and teachers of this future magnificent college might well be occupying their new classrooms today.