Speaker of the House, J. Alex Tyler
House Joint Committee Picks Bone With Public Works
By Hilary Vasco Wiagbe
MONROVIA, May 28 (LINA) -The House Joint Committee on Public Works and Contracts and Monopoly says the Ministry of Public Works has awarded contracts without going through the bidding process as required by law.
The Committee disclosed that about 72 percent of contracts given out by the Public Works Ministry were single-sourced without any form of bidding
According to the Liberia News Agency (LINA), the Committee’s claim was contained in a report it submitted to the Plenary of the House of Representatives on Tuesday, on the poor quality of roads and other infrastructure projects across the country.
The Committee produced the report following a probe mandated by Plenary into roads and infrastructure projects undertaken by local and foreign contractors under the supervision of the Ministry of Public Works.
The Committee, however, pointed out that those contracts under the supervision of multilateral institutions, like the World Bank and African Development Bank, were subjected to standard bidding process as provided for under the laws of the country.
Also, the Committee stipulated in the report that funding of projects by the Ministry of Finance has been very irregular over the past two years, thereby bringing all on-going projects to a standstill.
According to the Committee’s report, contractors claimed to have pre-financed the projects, noting that reported results seem not to be consistent with the reality on the ground.
It further stated that only concessionaire-related projects and the ones funded by the World Bank are currently in progress.
The report named some of the projects funded by foreign institutions that are in progress as the Putu-Greenville Road, the Greenville-Barclayville Road, the Somalia Drive and the Marshall Road.
At the same time, the Committee has maintained that another critical factor that is negatively impacting the continuation of projects is the current refusal of commercial banks to grant loan facilities to contracting companies due to default in repayment.
In the report, the Committees indicated that the companies blamed their default to repay loans on the government’s failure to pay them in keeping with the contractual agreements.
Meanwhile, based on a recommendation by the Committee, Plenary has invited authorities of the Public Works Ministry to appear before it next week Tuesday to address the issues raised in the report.