Government has stressed commitment in ensuring transparency and accountability in implementation of infrastructure construction projects to ensure high quality of the country’s infrastructure.
Vice President Dr Saulos Chilima made the assertion at Capital Hotel in Lilongwe on Tuesday where he officially launched deliberations of the 4th Construction Sector Transparency Insurance (CoST) Assurance Report.
The Vice President, who is also Champion for CoST Malawi, complimented the statement by recalling the 2014 review of infrastructure projects which had been highlighted by the 2014 CoST Assurance Report which brought cancellation, suspension and retendering of some public infrastructure.
He also pointed out that; “In June 2015 Government went on to launch the National Construction Industry Policy which prioritizes Corporate Good Governance to ensure that transparency and accountability is enhanced in line with the aspirations of the CoST principles.
“You may also wish to know that under the Public Service Reform program, Government has amended the Public Procurement Act of 2003 to include issues of public infrastructure procurement integrity.”
According to Dr Chilima, through the above law, all public procurement proceedings shall be conducted in a manner which promotes transparency, accountability, non-discrimination, fairness, open competition, confidentiality, economy and efficiency.
“As we speak, my office is in touch with the Ministry of Justice, which is the sponsor of the amended Act, to ensure a speedy tabling of the Bill in parliament. In fact, my wish is that the Bill be tabled during the November sitting,” the Vice President disclosed.
He expressed hope that report findings and recommendations would be used to bring in positive change in the management of the country’s infrastructure projects.
For instance, the report points out that locally funded infrastructure projects are likely to escalate in cost due to delayed payment. This is an issue as it implies that Government is made to make additional unplanned investment into on-going infrastructure projects at the expense of equally important social-economic activities.
Chief Executive Officer National Construction Industry Council, Linda Phiri, hailed Government for continued support and dedication to the initiative.
Launched in CoST is a multi stakeholder initiative with 15 participating countries spanning four continents, and the event attracted representatives from all countries including Chair of CoST Board, Chrik Poortman.