Probe: Rwanda Loses Billions Through Poor Contract Supervision

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By Daniel Sabiiti

Rwandan lawmakers blames the Rwanda Transport Development Agency (RTDA) for not employing the right procedures when contracting road works.

Rwandan lawmakers paid a field visit one of the remote villages in Ngororero district, only to hit a dead end on a rural road project that was under construction.

Rwandan lawmakers blames the Rwanda Transport Development Agency (RTDA) for not employing the right procedures when contracting road works.

“The district official who was directing us was not even aware that the bridge on this road had been destroyed. We literally got stuck and wondered who is behind such construction works which are not monitored” said lawmaker Juvenal Nkusi, the chairman of Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC).

This is one examples on the over 23.000km of roads under construction to date with a budget worth Rwf15billion working budget, which the parliament says have been poorly managed even after the 2016 auditor general’s recommended RTDA to improve its supervision systems.

For example on contract management, which includes monitoring of quality of work done, the initial contract value of over Rwf155,3billion from 63 ongoing contracts cost government an extra Rwf18,6billion as a result of cost variation

Parliament yesterday said that for Rwanda to meet its national targets of road networks -RTDA needs to improve its supervision and tender management procedures.

Apparently over the next seven years, Rwanda plans on covering 3,000km of feeder roads will be rehabilitated, 800 km of national asphalt roads will be built

This comes with an additional 350 kilometers of new tarmac roads that’s scheduled to be constructed in the City of Kigali, secondary cities countrywide.

However, PAC said that existing roads like Kigali-Muhanga Akanyaru, Nyakinama Musanze-Cyanika, and Muhanga-Karongi were completed and were supposed to be maintained by RTDA but this has largely not been done, which affects the economy directly.

“No matter whether you give a 20 percent fine, there is still weakness in supervision, administration and planning, this is evident when the roads are not properly done and the contractors are re-hired yet they did a bad job”

RTDA -director general, Guy M. Kalisa, said that enterprise has tried to streamline its operations in the last two years though the problem still lies on capacity of seven local construction companies which cannot meet some of the required standards.

Kalisa explained that RTDA has had to re-review some of the contractors who delayed to provide performance security and contracts terminated and given to second bidder but the difference in bid amount gets big thus compelling RTDA to re-negotiate and wait for the first bidder to meet requirements

“The delays in tender implementation and signing have been caused by the bidder who don’t comply. But we have a quality control team now and for the last years the supervision has been done not only by the consultant but with RTDA involvement.

RTDA officials said that now, all contracts have a new concept that “the contractor will design, construct but also maintain the roads in five years. This will force them to do quality jobs but there is a problem of lack competitive private sector” Kalisa said.

On the issue of lack of supervision it was discovered that RTDA department of engineers lack engineers to monitor rural projects worth billions of donor money.

Rwanda Eye has established that RTDA has only ten engineers who are based in Kigali and they are charged with monitoring the rural projects.

“Why don’t you send them to the terrain to be able to follow up directly at district level and even train the district engineers?” MP Theodomir Niyonsenga

RTDA said that it is going to build as system of monitoring road construction. DG says that there are roads which are directly supervised by districts but there is a plan to formulate a plan of coordination and operation in which the national engineers will work with districts.

On behalf of PAC, MP Karenzi demanded that RTDA provides a written document detailing the assessment of the issues of procurement, maintenance and supervision; to give parliament clear picture of how issues of corruption are addressed.

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