CoST, an Infrastructure Transparency Initiative, aimed at increasing transparency and accountability of public funded infrastructure project has launch its second Assurance Report in Takoradi.
The report is to disseminate findings and recommendations from the maiden assurance process to create awareness of CoST and build citizens and stakeholder interest in using disclosed infrastructure information to influence performance and transparency in the delivery of infrastructure projects within the Western Region.
Eight Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies namely, Sekondi-Takoradi, Effia-Kwesimintsim, Ahanta West, Nzema East, Mpohor, Shama as well as Wassa East are involved in this project.
Disclosing the report on the theme ‘A New Dawn in infrastructure transparency, Citizen Participation and Accountability’, Isaac Adioo, CoST Manager explained that “the Procuring Entities (PEs) that obtained the highest overall proactive and reactive scores were Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly (STMA) and Wassa East District Assembly.”
Each, he said, had a score of 37 which represent 58.21% of the overall disclosure score of 67 CoST Infrastructure Data Standard.
However, he said comparing STMA’s current overall disclosure of 58.21% worth overall disclosure of 77.61% in the first assurance study, “this current overall disclosure performance by the PE is comparatively low.”
Mr. Aidoo mentioned that the PE that obtained the least overall score was Effia-Kwesimintsim Municipal Assembly with a score of 18, which represent 26.87% of the overall data point of 67.
In terms of proactive disclosure, he said Wassa East District Assembly ranked first with an overall score of 22 which represent 55% of the proactive data points of 40. Whereas Tarkwa Nsuaem disclosed the least proactive data points with a score of 18 which represents 20%.
Wassa East District Assembly, he added, was ranked first in terms of completeness of proactive disclosure with a score of 22. This means the disclosures were publicly accessible.
Also, he said the Ahanta West Municipal Assembly was ranked first in accuracy of proactive disclosure with a score of 21 out of the 40 data points. This means, the assembly made 21 proactive disclosures in the public domain. It was also revealed that the only PE (Ahanta West Municipal Assembly) was able to avoid both time and cost overruns.
On general findings, Mr. Aidoo said apart from STMA and EKMA whose projects were donor funded and supervised by consultants and clerks of works, the remaining PEs did not engage clerks of works for daily supervision to ensure compliance by contractors.
“None of the PEs conducted a comprehensive feasibilities studies prior to project initiation apart from STMA. However, key recommendations were not fully considered during project design and implementation,” he said.
Other issues, which were identified include: non-adherence to Health and Safety Protocols on project sites and non-inclusion of ancillary facilities user-friendly (thus budget of PEs appeared to be centred on the cost of the works only) no provision of fire fighting equipment in all the facilities provided by PE’s.
Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, Western Regional Minister, acknowledged the efforts being made by the two assemblies to ensure inclusive governance and social accountability which has been recognized at the local level. “I entreat all other assemblies in the Western Region to be encouraged and emulate these efforts,” he said
Eugene Ofori Atta, Chairman for the programme commended members of CoST for their commitment in ensuring that there is openness in the delivery of public infrastructure in the various districts. “The CoST approach presents an excellent opportunity for all stakeholders to commence dialogue and implement reforms to reverse the crisis of confidence plaguing citizens, the private sector and government,” he said.