Out of Court settlement saved Guyana millions

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs has stated that the Government of Guyana has saved millions of dollars and secure much needed equipment for the Government by settling the Guytract matter out of court.

The AG noted that during the previous administration Mr. Sugrim, owner of Guytract, was awarded the contract to supply NDIA with equipment. Subsequently the no objection to the award was withdrew. Mr. Sugrim then commenced an action on the 1st June 2015 suing the NDIA and the Attorney General for breach of contract.

Mr. Williams noted that the matter was conducted solely by Ms. Prithima Kissoon, former Deputy Solicitor General in the High Court.

It was also noted that Ms. Prithima Kissoon prepared and filed pleadings submissions on behalf of the State in which she assisted the case for the defence without regard to specific instructions from the Attorney General.

By the time the Attorney General attempted to intervene in the matter Ms. Kissoon had already filed pleadings, conducted the trial, argued and filed submissions, the AG noted.

As a result the State lost and the Honorable Madam Justice Insanally awarded (a) damages for breach of contract in the sum of G$226, 161,235.000 (two hundred and twenty-six million, one hundred and sixty-one thousand, two hundred and thirty-five dollars).

(b)    Damages for loss of profit in the sum of G$44,602.000.00 (forty four million, six hundred and two thousand dollars) as a result of the breach of the contract on the part of the Defendant.

(c)     Resulting Damages in the sum of G$19,000,000.00 (nineteen million dollars).

(d)    Interest on any award at the rate of 6% per annum from the date of filing to the date of judgment and at the rate of 4% per annum until fully paid.

Given the Order of the Court and the manner in which the case was conducted it was in the best interest of NDIA and the Government of Guyana to amicably resolve this matter, the AG noted.

In that regard and on the instructions of NDIA it was agreed between the parties that NDIA would purchase from Mr. Sugrim six long broom excavators and other equipment which they needed for the sum of G$226, 161,235.000 (two hundred and twenty-six million, one hundred and sixty-one thousand, two hundred and thirty-five dollars) in full and final settlement of this matter.

It should be noted that the Government of Guyana in the public’s interest negotiated that the settlement would not include (a) damages for loss of profit in the sum of G$44,602.000.00 (forty four million, six hundred and two thousand dollars) as a result of the breach of the contract on the part of the Defendant. (b) Damages in the sum of G$19,000,000.00 (nineteen million dollars). (c) Interest on any award at the rate of 6% per annum from the date of filing to the date of judgment and at the rate of 4% per annum until fully paid as per the Judge’s order. Mr.  Sugrim agreed to forego in excess of Sixty-three Million dollars, Mr. Williams noted.

The settlement of this matter has saved the Government of Guyana millions of dollars and provided the much needed equipment to the NDIA, the AG said.

 


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