Government Procurement Entities (PE) and Contractors handling government infrastructure projects such as roads have been told to always to share information relating to the ongoing works with the general public.
Sharing information with the general public, according to construction experts reduces the chances of corruption and doing substandard work by the contractors.
Speaking in Kampala during the release of the 1st Assurance report conducted by the Construction Sector Transparency Initiative (COST) on disclosure of information about construction projects, Engineer Hamish Goldie-scot, a consulting Engineer at COST International secretariat said it’s vital for the general public to own government infrastructure projects.
“The information about the ongoing projects should be made available to the local people; this will help them to understand its costs, the contractors being contracted to execute the project, the execution period. Once the local communities are empowered with the information, it will reduce tendencies of corruption and substandard work,” Hashi said.
COST is an infrastructure Transparency Initiative aimed at improving citizens’ lives through enhancing a better infrastructure.
He further advised government to always contract contractors and supervising contractors whose manpowers have the necessary capacity to execute the projects and also to supervise the contractors.
“Both the contractor and the supervising agency must be well trained and skilled to execute the projects. Once a government agency contracts well-experienced contracting firms to execute the infrastructure projects but being supervised by incompetent supervising firm, the ending results of the project will be substandard,” he said.
The information Assurance disclosure survey was conducted by Multi sector stakeholder group on five contracts in three procurement Entities of Kampala Capital City Authority, Wakiso district Local government and the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA).
The scope of the study entails five projects which include Lot1 Lot 4 and KIIDP2 under the KCCA, the new Nile bridge project under UNRA and the Namasuba-Ndejje–Kitiko road project under the Wakiso District Local government.
Discussing the finding from the study, Dr. Eng, Jotham Sempewo who headed the COST Assurance professionals at COST Uganda chapter said the results show low level of disclosure due to lack of formal Disclosure Requirement.
In the study, disclosure for the KCCA projects was at 37.8% for Lot2-KCCA 44.4% for Lot 4-KCCA and 40% for KIID2project.
Wakiso District project roads project realized an average disclosure rate of about 44.4%, 44.4% and 53.3 for the design. For the UNRA project it was at 84.4%.
Sempewo noted that some projects sigh boards lack crucial information like project start dates and duration period hence levels of disclosure are still very low. This can be attributed to stringent regulation regulating the Procurement Entity.
Olive Kabatwaire, the COST programme office said they are committed to ensure that the general public is brought on board when it comes to government infrastructure projects.
In summary, the report advises the Procurement entities to ensure quality Assurance and Quality controls by the contractor and consultant on site by establishing or implementing clear processes strengthen disclosure of crucial reactive and proactive project information.
Some of the key information to be shared should be the projects costs, start and end dates, scope and variations, strengthen community sensitization and engagement on the economic benefits of the projects to citizens to enable ease in obtaining right of the way from landowner.