Karaga District asked to strengthen project implementation measures
The Ghana Audit Service (GAS) has asked the Karaga District Assembly (KDA) to ensure that its procurements are in line with the Public Procurement Act (PPA).

Date Created : 8/10/2016 12:00:00 AM : Story Author : Albert Futukpor

An audit report disseminated, at a forum at Karaga organised by NORSAAC, a Tamale-based non-governmental organisation, as part of the implementation of the Ghana’s Strengthening Accountability Mechanisms (GSAM) Project, said it would ensure value for money.

The GSAM Project, which is being implemented by a Consortium of three civil society organisations (CSOs), namely the Integrated Social Development Center, IBIS in Ghana and CARE in Ghana. It is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

It seeks to strengthen citizens oversight of capital development projects in 100 districts to improve local government transparency, accountability and performance.

The audit was conducted by the GAS, in May last year, on the Award of and Execution of a three-unit classroom block each for the Nasiria Primary School and Kpaglu Primary School at the KDA.

They were initiated by the KDA in 2014 and completed in July 2015 at GHs 150,000 and GHs 160,000, respectively.

It uncovered gaps in how the KDA procured and engaged contractors, monitored and supervised the execution of the projects and made payments to contractors, amongst others.

Mr Richard Pappoe, an Audit Officer at Performance Audit Department of GAS, who presented the findings, said the KDA advertised the projects in one local newspaper insteadof two national newspapers, prescribed under the PPA.

It said there was no evidence of supervision of the projects even though GHc5, 000.00 was earmarked towards supervision.

The audit report, however, commended the KDA for largely involving communities and other stakeholders in identifying and selecting the projects, ensuring that they (projects) represented the felt needs of the people.

Based on these findings, the GSAM Consortium partners scored KDA 100 per cent in project initiation, 50% in procurement and contracting, 42% in execution and zero% in project benefits, an assessment that put its (KDA) overall score in terms of execution of capital projects at 48%.

Mr Pappoe, therefore, recommended that KDA should adhere to the tenets of PPA in future evaluation exercises to ensure value for money.

He also recommended that the district monitoring team should be properly constituted adding the KDA should check the performance of its Works Department especially with regards to project supervision so as to undertake regular supervision of projects to ensure that they (projects) were executed according to plan.

Mr Mahmud Osman, the Planning Officer of KDA, who represented the District Chief Executive, said the KDA had taken note of the findings of the audit report and would work to improve its system to adhere to the tenets of the PPA.

Mr Osman said the KDA recognised the need to strengthen its processes of delivering projects in communities and urged members of the communities to show ownership of projects being executed in their areas by monitoring the progress of work.

Mr Mohammed Ukasha, the Zonal Manager in-charge of the GSAM Project at NORSAAC, said the CSO grantee under the GSAM Project, would facilitate the dissemination of standardised performance scorecards of the audit report in 25 communities in the KDA through alternative channels to sensitise the citizens on its (KDA) performance in terms of capital projects.