Local Authorities call for involvement in contract awarding process

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Techiman (B/A), May 22, GNA- Mr John Kofi Donyina, the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) at the Techiman Municipal Assembly and some technocrats in the Assembly have urged the central government to include the district assemblies in the process of awarding contracts.
The MCE said contracts for projects awarded from central government without the knowledge of district assemblies were difficult to supervise and monitor.
The appeal was made when the Public Interest Accountability Committee (PIAC) and the Institute of Financial and Economic Journalists (IFEJ) embarked on the 2018 District Engagement and Project Inspection of oil revenue funded projects in selected communities.
It was sponsored by the German Development Corporation (GIZ) under the good governance project.
Mr Donyina was surprised to have learnt that the upgrading of Hansuah roads and links contracts awarded was partially funded by the country’s oil revenue.
He said the community had little knowledge of benefiting from the oil revenue as there were no indications showing such.
He said an abandoned road project, which included the building of speed ramps, had resulted in the killing of eight people in the project area.
Mr Ebenezer Amoah, the Municipal Planning Officer at the Assembly, recalled an incidence when contractors came to the Assembly to show a contract from central government to execute a project without the knowledge of the Assembly.
Mr Amoah said it was important to involve the Assembly in order to properly scrutinize contracts before certificates were issued to effect payments.
Mr Ernest Boom, the Maintenance Engineer for Urban Roads in the Brong Ahafo Region, was surprised that payments for projects in the Techiman District were issued from Accra, which made it difficult for the locals to ensure compliance.
He said the project was substantially completed at 65 per cent, but information received from the Ministry of Roads and Highways indicated that the project has been physically progressed to 99 per cent.
He indicated that he had certified parts of the contract, which had been completed by the contractor because, out of the nine kilometres in the agreement, the contractor had completed 7.5 Kilometres.
According to him, the contract which was awarded in 2012 was almost completed when variations, thus additional links and drainage system were added in 2016.
On site, the monitoring team saw an abandoned drainage system and road links in the Dwomor Township, which the MCE described as “death trap”.
The MCE indicated that the contractor had complained on several occasions of interference by some members of the community, which had resulted in the delay in the completion of work.
The team also paid a visit to the Techiman Senior High School to inquire from the authorities, what the school had received for the implementation of the Free Senior High School policy partly sponsored from the oil revenue.
Mr Jacob Afful, the Headmaster of the School, who commended PIAC for the visit, said the Free SHS policy had come to ease the burden of parents, who hitherto struggled to send their wards to school.
He said the school had so far received the needed allotment for the number of students as part of the policy implementation.
He noted that the School received textbooks, marker boards, computers among others, for the 756 students made up of 692 boarders and 64 day students in the 2017/2018.
From the accounts of the School, it has so far received a total of GH¢135,724.52 for the first term and GH¢118,264.49 for the second term.

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