Erica Virtue, Senior Gleaner Writer
Ronald Brown, the former works supervisor at Garvey Maceo High School during the first four months of construction of a three-storey block, has cast doubts on the veracity of an audit done to determine how $40 million was spent without the work being done.
Brown said neither he nor his brother, former principal David Brown, has been interviewed by any member of the government's auditing team.
They have also not spoken to anyone from the Office of the Contractor General which is also conducting an audit.
To date, the block is incomplete despite a promise from the Ministry of Education that $20 million was granted for the completion of the work and it would be ready for the 2013-2014 academic year.
Brown, during a recent interview in Clarendon, questioned the veracity of any findings of any audit which does not include his comments.
"I cannot understand what kind of audit could be done because no one has spoken to me or my brother and we spent the first $12 million of the job.
"I do not know what kind of audit that could be. Unless they are saying that the paperwork left by me and my brother was so up to date that they do not have to consult me. But I am telling you ma'am, not a single person has consulted me about any audit," he told The Sunday Gleaner.
Ronald Brown noted that his brother, David, was principal at the time he became supervisor on the project.
According to Ronald, he was a registered contractor although his registration with the National Contracts Commission (NCC) was not up to date at the time.
"I have worked for the Government before. I have worked at other schools. And as you correctly reported in April, I worked on the Kemps Hill project and there was not a single cent over-run. in fact, it was finished with less money, and on time," said Ronald.
Work on the Garvey Maceo block started in May 2007 during the final months of the tenure of his brother David.
"I never got a cent in my hand. I received a cheque like everyone else, through the bursar's office, after submitting payment claims.
"I received $25,000 per week. I chose persons who wanted to work and persons who worked. My brother was the principal. You think I was going to do anything to hurt his position? No sir," said Ronald.
"Between May and September, we built a septic pit and a main pit for the school. We bought all new materials. We bought tons of steel. We completed all the ground-level blocking and decking. Decking was stripped down and the second floor was blocked and decked, but the decking was not stripped down," he explained.
Windows, sheeting for iron doors, and electrical fittings were also bought.
However, his brother would go on retirement by September, and his attachment to the construction project was discontinued. Following their departure, a new principal took over at the school and a new works supervisor was appointed.
According to the contractor, when they left, about $200,000 was to be paid to the workers.
After the brothers left the school and the construction project, a further $28 million was spent between 2007 and 2009, but it appears the work done was a fraction of what was done when the first $12 million was spent.
According to the former principal, David Brown, it was his view that they should purchase all the materials.
"I am very happy that the investigation is going on, but no one has spoken to me. I hired my brother because of his technical expertise and nothing else, and I got more than my money worth," stated the former principal.
Efforts to get an official word from the education ministry have been unsuccessful since the completion of the latest audit.