Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Mahama Ayariga has refuted observation in the report of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) does not adequately monitor projects it allocates funds to.
Mr. Ayariga, who is also a former deputy Education Minister, argued that the observation by the Committee is not accurate because he used to monitor such projects during his tenure in office as Deputy Education Minister.
He stressed that he together with officials from the GETFund Secretariat have on many occasions inspected and monitored progress of work.
Presenting the report of the PAC on the performance audit report of the Auditor-General on the GETFund funded infrastructural projects in public tertiary institutions yesterday, chairman of the committee, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu could not understand why GETFund was not monitoring projects it was funding.
Mr. Agyeman-Manu said “The committee could not fathom why GETFund would allocate funds to institutions for projects and not monitor the projects to ascertain whether the projects conform to technical specifications or not.”
The committee's report further noted that “inasmuch as GETFund is responsible for disbursing funds to the institutions, it should consider monitoring of projects as part of its responsibility and also demand formal reporting on projects from consultants.”
But, the former Deputy Education Minister insisted that, that was not the case because he had led teams to monitor such projects across the country.
According to the committee's report, “Development Officers of the Polytechnics were noted not to have the full complement of staff to monitor and supervise works. An underground water tank of a computer laboratory in Tamale Polytechnic had to be demolished due to poor quality work.”
It was recommended that the Ministry of Education ensures GETFund demand regular progress reports throughout the life of a project and not only when certificates are prepared.
The committee, according to the report also observed that the Technical Department of GETFund Secretariat did not have monitoring schedules in place to enable them to conduct regular monitoring of all ongoing projects and also ensure regular reporting by consultants.
Pre-tertiary site visits
The report noted that the Board of Trustees of the Fund together with the technical department embarked on project site visits to pre-tertiary institutions but the visits are yet to be extended to the tertiary institutions.
The committee was informed by the Fund Administrator that they rely on tertiary institutions for project quality assurance because they have qualified development officers who are able to supervise the projects and ensure project quality.
The committee also observed that most GETFund projects underwent constant variations to add additional works without consideration to the original cost of the project and this thus increased the contract sum between 16% and 44%, which is contrary to the acceptable level of 15%.
It was added that excessive variations occurred due to increases in the scope of works during implementation of projects.
Source: Daily Heritage
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