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The National Construction Authority has concluded a quality audit of West Pokot County. The final report was presented to Governor Joseph Lonyangapuo at his offices Pokot town on November 8th, 2017.
The county government of West Pokot had previously written to the Authority and requested NCA to ascertain quality of construction projects in the county, following which NCA created a special committee to undertake the exercise.
The overall objective of the exercise was to assess the operations of the county’s construction project management and provide assurance to the Office of the Governor on the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of construction projects being undertaken in the county. Additionally, the audit team sought to evaluate the existing controls for quality and effectiveness with a view of advising on prudent construction project management. The specific objectives of the exercise were to ascertain the quality of select ongoing projects within the county, to confirm contract valuation of said projects, to check on the registration status of the contractors awarded the works as well as to advise on the way forward.
Governor Lonyangapuo thanked the NCA team for undertaking the project, and pledged his government’s commitment to streamlining construction in West Pokot, to ensure quality was maintained at all stages of the construction process, from the tendering stage right down to completion.
The sampled projects, 23 in total, were undertaken by the county government between 1st March 2013 and 2nd October 2017. The projects had been flagged by the Office of the Governor due to their suspected inefficiencies. The audit involved documentary analysis, analysis of construction sites and a presentation of preliminary findings before the final report was tabled.
For all sampled projects, the project files were poorly maintained, either filed incorrectly or with incomplete attachments, such as payment valuations, final accounts, weekly site reports and the minutes of technical inspections. The tender processing was not well documented, with direct procurement used inappropriately as well as irregular use of project funds without tendering.
10 of the projects did not used an NCA registered contractor where applicable, and in 9 of the projects, there was no proper approval from NCA, the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA), the road regulatory agencies as well as from the county itself. There was also a lack of supervision from registered professionals in 11 of the sampled projects, and the designs were missing vital elements of functionality based on regulatory requirements including building ergonomics, disability mainstreaming, fire protection and electrical safety.
In at least half of the sampled projects, specialist works were not done were not done by the relevant contractors, engineer’s estimates were not available before the tendering process commenced, there was irregular issuance of the project completion certificate and there was visible poor workmanship, with use of degraded materials and no material testing conducted.
Each sampled project had its own specific recommendations, and they ranged from technical audits to determine structural integrity, re-design to cater to design failures, in depth analysis of the procurement processes by the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA), environmental audits by NEMA to assess environmental impact, and an NCA Board initiated investigation into all contractors found in violation of the law.
NCA, which currently has 26 regional and liaison offices across the country, has been working closely with county governments to assure quality. The Authority currently has collaborative projects with several counties, whose officers are part of the quality assurance teams.