Regional Chairman of Region One, Brentnol Ashley said that one of the challenges faced by the Region One Administration, as they strive to complete their 2016 capital works, is the poor execution of projects by contractors.
During a recent interview with the Government Information Agency (GINA), Ashley explained that the Regional Administration is currently assessing and evaluating projects across the region. Measures will be put in place to ensure that the Regional Democratic Council’s (RDCs) Public Works Committee is more effective, he added.
In the 2016 Budget the sum of $2.345 B was approved for Region One, of which $35.446M was earmarked for the rehabilitation of bridges at Hosororo, Papaya and Arocuro. A sum of $31M was also allocated for the construction of roads in Mabaruma and Moruca.
The sum of $65.29M was also allocated for the completion of living quarters at Port Kaituma and Santa Rosa, a sanitary block at Baramita Primary school, the construction of a secondary school at Waramuri and extension works to the nursery schools at Port Kaituma and Matthews Ridge.
In the area of health, $52.045M was approved for the construction of a mortuary at Pakera, health posts at Powaikuru and Warapoka, an administrative building at Mabaruma, and the construction of health posts and living quarters at Katchikamo.
The Regional Chairman said that the region is working to complete its 2016 capital works before the reading of Budget 2017. Ashley said that the Region’s 2017 Budget will see more roads, schools and health facilities being constructed and upgraded.
Under the previous administration, the Auditor General’s Report 2011 revealed that a number of contractors executing roads, bridges and revetment projects in Region One were overpaid, even though the projects remained incomplete or in some cases, never began. In several instances, no effort was made by the Regional Administration to recover the monies and contractors.
In 2016, those challenges remain, but according to Ashley, the RDC will be collaborating with the Ministry of Public Infrastructure to enforce a more aggressive monitoring and evaluation process so as to ensure value for money.