The New Dawn (Monrovia)

Liberia: Alarm Blow Over Bong County Projects

The Monitoring and Evaluation Officer assigned in Bong County under the Ministry of Internal Affairs says most of the projects that were implemented in the County prior to his assignment are substandard and over estimated.

Daniel Tentive in a chat with journalists in Gbarnga said projects have been sub-standard, over estimated and worst of all contractors were hand pick by those offering the contracts.

He made particular reference to the Gbanjue school around the rubber factory community for which according to him, US50,000 was estimated for four class rooms, one auditorium and an office as compare to a six class rooms project constructed at the cost of US$30,000.

Mr. Tentive added that he has informed the Minister of Internal Affairs on the issue and is awaiting response from the minister. The Monitoring and Evaluation Officer who was recruited and is being paid by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) complained of contracts being awarded to companies that do not have their offices in the county.

He maintained that he will ensure that all steps for the awarding of public contracts are followed in the county and not to satisfy some hierarchy of the county. Mr. Tentive told journalists that the BOQs for the projects are not respected, saying many contractors that are to use prescribed zinc and other materials disregard them and do their own thing.

The latest statement made by the independent monitoring and evaluation officer has drawn a lot of concerns from the public as some citizens continue to express regret about the manner in which projects are being implemented in the county.

There are lots of projects in the county that are yet to be completed despite funding being provided to contractors. In Sanoyea District for instance, a school annex construction has been going on for about two years despite contractor receiving hundred percent payment.

Meanwhile, Bong County Project Management Committee Chairman Laurent Plator has sharply reacted to Tentive terming his comments as untrue. Mr. Plator denied that the projects being implemented in the county are substandard and over estimated as claimed by the monitoring and evaluation officer.

He, however, indicated that the current administration of which he serves met the systems of awarding contracts in place at the PMC and that they are only working on improving things they met.

Plator could not clearly say as to whether most of the contractors that have been awarded contracts in the County are based in the county or elsewhere without an office space in the County but could only maintained that they met the system in place and are working to improve on it.

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