It is unbelievable that this lack of co- ordination between the Ministry itself and the consultants on one hand and the institutions on the other hand can be solved by carving an effective role for the heads of institution who naturally have vested interest in the work that is being done and would like the contract to be expedited and executed with quality. It is surprising. They have promised drawing the Ministry's attention to it. But these are specific recommendations, what is the status?
We are through the report of this Committee, drawing the attention of the Ministry once more that there cannot be any proper and effective liaison between the Ministry and the executors of the projects on the ground without making the heads of institution play their appropriate role in providing supervision at the project sites.
If you come to talk about poor quality work, the heads are in a position to talk to the contractors when they are deviating from a programme and when they are putting up structures which the heads of institution believe do not properly belong to the designs that had been produced.
Come to talk about the chasing of certificates and prompt payments for these certificates, there are a lot of ways in which heads of institution can facilitate this. By representing the contractors, taking them along, talking to the Directors in charge or the managers of the Procurement Management Unit (PMU) or whoever is in charge of these projects to expedite action.
But the most important role that they can play is when there is a deviation from the design. And we came across issues of that nature when we visited Ada and
Bimbilla Training Colleges where it was obvious that what was being done was out of the designs that were presented for the work.
We are therefore asking the Ministry through this report and the contributions which we are making on the floor of Parliament that it is overdue, the time is long gone when the Ministry itself should see the importance of making the heads of institution on effective part of the whole process of taking decisions on the designs and the execution of the projects in the institutions under the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports.
I would also seize this opportunity to say that the disability friendly structures that we advocated during our visit, is not only to save the Ministry from prose- cution after the period of grace but it is important that the measures we made that these designs were provided when the Disability Act had not been passed. And the contractors were quick to respond that they will do everything to make it possible to amend because they will get more money for the job. If the Ministry does not sit up to look into this issue, I am afraid we will miss the time of putting these things right and putting them in a shape that will last before the handing over of the projects to the Ministry and the institutions.
I will therefore call upon the Ministry to look at this report again and take action that is due to get value-for-money in the execution of projects under the GETFund.
Finally, the inspection has been a
good eye-opener; it revealed a lot of things which could be avoided to speed up execution of the projects to get quality work and we hope conditions would be created for the Committee to go round the rest of the training colleges as well as the model school project institutions. I thank you, Mr. Speaker, for the opportunity.
Mr. E .K. D. Adjaho (NDC - Avenor/
Ave): Mr. Speaker, I rise to support the motion. I first of all want to commend the Committee on Education. J think that this is the way we should go if we really want to perform and discharge our oversight responsibility very well and effectively and help in putting Government, Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) on their toes. And we would want to encourage as many committees as possible to pursue the path that has been taken by this Committee.
I know several committees go and they do not come back to the House to lay a report and I am highly impressed that they have taken this step.
Mr. Speaker, my second point is
really that looking through the report and listening to the Chairman and the Ranking Member, it is quite clear that the previous Government has been vindicated in establishing or introducing the GETFund. I was wondering what would have been the status if this fund from the GETFund had not been available for us to fund these projects. And I think that it was good that this Fund had been introduced. It is helping in many, many ways to uplift education in our community.
Mr. Speaker, my third and the very
brief point is with regard to some of the findings of the Committee in most of the schools. I think it virtually runs through and if you read the recommendation and the conclusion of the Committee, they tried to summarize it.
I will refer you, Mr. Speaker, to page 25 dealing specifically with the block of flats for staff at Akatsi Training College and Mr. Speaker, with your permission, I quote:
“The Committee found the project to be far behind schedule and was not very happy with some
of the aspects of the work being done. Irregular site meetings and ineffective supervision on the part of the consultants were found to be the major cause of the delay. The consultants, Messrs AESL or their representatives hardly visited the site. There was also no resident Clerk of Works at the site and the contractor was left to do whatever he deemed right. The Committee wishes to draw the attention of the Ministry to these conditions.”
Then again at page 26, in Recommen- dation and Conclusion, it reads:
“However, the pace of work leaves much to be desired. The bottlenecks have been identified as shortfalls in the original designs, non involve- ment of heads of institution in the decision-making process, ineffec- tive supervision of projects and delays in honouring for approved certificates of work done.”
Mr. Speaker, clearly the Committee's decision of drawing the Ministry's attention to some of these problems is not far-reaching. Whilst it is good to draw the Ministry's attention, people who are not doing their work by which Government's programme would be affected, you need to go a step further. I thought that they will be specific. They had gone to the site, they have seen the conditions and I will expect that when it is not the fault of the contractor but based on the fault of the consultant, specific recommendations ought to be made for these things to be remedied.
For example, they could give a deadline where it is one of a consultant not visiting sites, not holding site meetings and there is no Clerk of Works at the site. Those ones we were expecting the Committee to make specific recommendation in those things that ought to be done. What happens? Whilst not trying to doubt the ability of the Ministry of Education, Science and
Sports to do that, what happens if these things are not done?
We should not forget that the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports is there in the first instance and I also know that some of these projects had even been awarded from the regions, not directly from the Ministry. But where those who ought to supervise, the tender entities that awarded the contract are not doing anything about it, can the Committee not go a step further to make specific recommendations in those directions?
Then all of us will go and follow up. I can go back and find out what is the status in matching with the training college in my constituency - Akatsi Training College, that these are the findings of the Committee on Education. They have promised drawing the Ministry's attention to it. But these are specific recommendations, what is the status?
When we go and they say they are not aware of anything, and that the Ministry has not drawn their attention to it, I would expect that next time the Committee makes specific recommendations about specific contractors and specific consultants and where the tender boards or tender entities that awarded those contracts -- if the problem is from them, they have to make specific recommendations in those directions.
But Mr. Speaker, that notwithstanding the Committee ought to be commended for not limiting their work to themselves only but bringing it to the attention of the general membership of this House. I think that we expect the other committees - in fact, this should even be a basis for releasing moneys to committees; that when they take money and go -- the committees themselves take money and go for this type of work they must bring
their reports to the floor of this House to show that they themselves have used the money appropriately before they call on others to do the proper thing.
With this I support the motion.