By: Washington Tumay Watson –onewash9@gmail .com
MONROVIA-The Chief Executive Officer of the National Road Fund of Liberia Boniface Satu has appreciated the Audit conducted by the General Auditing Commission on the management of the Road Fund.
According to him, the National Road Fund of Liberia is working in line with its mandate with honesty and professionalism.
Mr. Satu said his leadership is working along with the Inter-Ministerial Steering Committee including the Ministry of Public Works, the Internal Affairs Ministry, the Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Finance Development Planning.
He further disclosed that the National Road Fund is partnering with international partners as a means of providing transparency and efficacy in managing the Road Fund that is making an impactful contribution to the country’s road developmental drive over a short period of time.
He further disclosed the audit report validates the transparent work that the staff at the National Road Fund of Liberia is performing for the overall good of the country’s road connectivity.
He told the media that with the worth of experience both internationally and nationally in managing funds for the so purpose of improving the roads of Liberia, Liberians can rest assure of sincerity in managing the road fund including the formulation of additional revenue generation in line with the National Road Fund of Liberia Act.
Let be clear that the National Road Fund of Liberia is fully responsible to manger funding for road maintenance and the building of new roads through the Ministry of Public Works in line with the Act of the NRF.
Moreover in a Transmitter Letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President Pro- Tempore of the House of Senate the General Auditing Commission(GAC) indicated that the legislature and that of the Ministry of Public Works to pay particular attention to the following matters.
According to the communication, if implemented, road maintenance and rehabilitation will significantly improve and reduce the high cost of transportation during every rainy season.
The Communication furthers that the Preventative maintenance method should at all times be put into placed to maintain the laterite roads by ensuring that the network of roads are maintained per plan/schedule, throughout the year; and, taking into consideration, the topography and environment.
Additionally, the communication noted that engineers that are employed currently with the Ministry Public Works should be utilized by running the maintenance at the regional maintenance centers.
Indicating that the Ministry of Public Works fully supports the resident engineers assigned to counties by providing logistics, vehicles, in order for them to carry out their functions in keeping with their Term of reference (TOR).
That the projects and resident engineers should at all times be given a copy of the contract documents for any roadwork that is within their jurisdiction to enhance their monitoring or supervisory roles.
Accordingly, they should report monthly and recommendations should be implemented as the work proceeds.
The GAC Performance Audit further indicated that Maintenances and Rehabilitations of Roads For fiscal years 2016/2017 through 2019/2020 5 Promoting Accountability of Public Resources, pointed out that the Government of Liberia should remit all funds collected by the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) in keeping with the National Road Fund (NRF) Act to the accounts of the Road Fund to enable them carryout the purpose of the fund.
The GAC indicated that the Government of Liberia through the authority of the NRF should ensure that all applicable revenues are fully implemented in line with the Act.
Moreover, the approval of road works by the Inter-Ministerial Steering Committee in the Annual Road Maintenance plan should be in accordance with the projected revenue for a particular period in order to avoid the huge backlog of payments during the fiscal period.
Additionally, the Ministry of Public Works and the National Road Fund officials should adhere to the terms and condition in the contract regarding payment, that include the completion of works should be checked by a different team to ensure that completions reported by contractors are in accordance with contract terms for portions of the roads reported complete before certifying the request for payment as indicated in the contract documents.
Furthermore, the GAC Communication pointed out that the Ministry of Public Works and The NRF should consider payment to contractor’s based on who completed first and level of work that is done by the contractor back by the reports from final inspection and a certificate of completion.
In the Audit Report, the GAC highlights several Recommendations that included Inadequate maintenance of roads (Maintenance of roads does not follow the prescribed schedule) In order to properly maintain laterite roads in the country.
“We recommend that the Government of Liberia through the MPW procures a fleet of equipment that will be managed by the private entity under the Public-Private Partnership arrangement so as to better maintain, supervise and manage the equipment for their longevity”.
Moreover, the GAC Recommendation pointed out that there is Limited supervision of road works (There is limited coordination between MPW and Supervising site Engineers on the monitoring of road works.