Infrastructural projects and accountability

first_imgIt is unbelievable the quality of work that is being carried out by some contractors engaged in public infrastructure projects; most of which cost the Treasury millions of dollars. All around the country one can point to numerous examples of substandard work for which contractors were paid huge sums; in fact, in some cases they were even overpaid.In many cases, very little action is taken against these errant contractors for not meeting their contractual obligations, resulting in them walking scotch free. In fact, some persons would even be shocked to learn that these same persons who have done poor work or left work incomplete were awarded additional contracts.Year after year, in his report, the Auditor General would highlight a number of examples of substandard or incomplete work in construction projects across the country – whether they be schools, hospitals, roads, bridges etc. His most recent report was no different.In that report, the AG pointed to some instances where projects were incomplete, or left abandoned even though contractors were already paid huge sums to do a proper job. Many have asked what actions are being taken against these contractors to recoup these monies, or what sort of systems has been put in place to ensure these contracting firms are debarred from bidding for future projects.Several previous sittings of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and regional officials to address several irregularities it was pointed out at that in the past, sums of money were overpaid to contractors in mobilisation fees – which is a fraction of the contractual cost that is paid to the contractor to get his/her equipment to the site where the project is to be implemented. In some cases, sums of money over the standard or required amount are paid to the contractor, and the works are still not completed.This, certainly, is unacceptable. And while taxpayers have used different forums to complain previously, the relevant agencies have a duty to ensure that public monies are well spent and accounted for.From what is gathered, there are several lapses in the national procurement system from time to time which need to be corrected urgently. For example, it is clear that there is poor monitoring and reporting mechanisms in place to ensure contracting firms carry out works as per contractual agreement. Also, there seems to be no strict policy to penalise and/or debar contractors for failing to meet their contractual obligations.The Public Infrastructure Ministry last year had said that it is in the process of establishing a database which will keep a track record of the number of projects awarded to local contractors and their performance with respect to each. It would also be helpful if procuring entities keep a proper record of the performance of companies with regard to projects awarded. This could be used as an effective measure to better inform the process for selecting competent contractors to handle Government projects.With the Public Procurement Commission (PPC) in place, one would have hoped that the relevant mechanisms would have been put in place with the aim of ensuring these lapses are corrected. The PPC would need to reexamine and implement effective measures for blacklisting, so that contractors who are consistently delinquent could face the requisite level of debarment. A contractor found to have a record of producing poor and incomplete work cannot and should not be awarded additional contracts.That said, citizens also have a role to play in ensuring that they get value for money. They should also be encouraged to provide the relevant feedback to the respective authorities in relation to how certain projects are progressing in their communities.last_img read more

Liverpool sign world class talent when this happens

first_img 1967: Ray Clemence moved from Scunthorpe for £18,000 – Liverpool appear to have a thing for signing great players when the year ends in seven, beginning with Clemence, who is regarded as the greatest goalkeeper in Liverpool’s history. He was present for their era of dominance in the 1970s and 1980s during which the club won five league titles and three European Cups. He actually won every major honour except the Cup Winners Cup and missed just six games in his 11 years at Anfield. 1987: Liverpool paid Watford £900,000 for John Barnes – He arrived with Peter Beardsley and John Aldridge and had an incredibly huge impact. At the end of his first season, Barnes won a league title and both the PFA and Football Writers’ Association Player of the Year awards thanks to his fantastic displays of skill, and ability to score stunning goals. He was considered one of the most exciting players in Europe and won another league title in 1990 where he top scored with 22 goals. Liverpool have found a quality goal scorer, in the shape of summer signing Mohamed Salah.Bought from Roma in 2017 for £34million, the forward has scored more than 40 in all competitions in his first season.And the Reds have a history of great buys in the year ending in seven, as talkSPORT points out.Scroll through the gallery to see 50 years of great signings. 6 1997: Academy graduate Michael Owen makes his Liverpool debut – Newcastle had no answers for Owen’s brilliance 6 1977: Kenny Dalglish signed from Celtic in a £440,000 deal – Dalglish arrived as Kevin Keegan’s replacement in 1977, with Liverpool paying Celtic £440,000 for the privilege. He started with a goal on his debut against Newcastle and in 515 games, he scored 172 times. Known as ‘King Kenny’, he struck up a brilliant partnership with Ian Rush and later moved into the dugout. Dalglish won three league titles as Liverpool manager to go with the six he won as a player along with the three European Cups. The no.7 shirt is now iconic at Anfield. 6center_img getty 6 2017: Mohamed Salah was signed from Roma for £34m – A lot of money was spent on Salah in the summer, but right now he looks worth every penny. “You think of the great goalscoring wingers, and if he’s here for three or four years then he’s on the verge of eclipsing them all,” Jamie Carragher has said. In his first 18 games he scored 14 goals and manager Jurgen Klopp said he is already meeting expectations. “It’s all good so far. I like Mo, I really like his goals but I don’t have to talk too much about them because they are in the past. “I’m more interested in his statistics tomorrow night. But in our games, it’s not luck that he scored, he made really fantastic goals. He can build confidence off this.” 2007: Fernando Torres was signed from Atletico Madrid for £20m – Torres, 23 at the time, joined to much fanfare given his prolific reputation in Spain. He spent three and half years at Anfield and scored 81 goals in 142 games before agreeing to join Chelsea for £50m in 2011. However, in his first season on Merseyside he hit the back of the net 33 times and later struck up a great partnership with Steve Gerrard. He was the club’s best foreign signing before Luis Suarez’s arrival. 6 6last_img read more