March 10, 2017

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Accountability and responsibility for contractors using public money

Companies which are awarded tenders are responsible to repair for any damages during the term of the contract. If the quality control team accepts the executed tasks which do not meet a set standard, the companies and the quality control team are solely responsible, said Union Minister for Construction, U Win Khaing.
That was the Union Minister’s response to the question, “Who would be responsible if the tender-awarded construction companies’ works did not meet with the quality standards in the contract?” asked by U Tin Ko Ko Oo, Bilin constituency, at yesterday’s Pyithu Hluttaw.
The Union Minister said the Ministry of Construction had delivered the industrial instruction books for practicing the contract system with the approval of the Republic of Union of Myanmar President’s office on 6 September, 2016 to all the region and state departments in the self-administered zones or division, all states and regions and all ministries.
Union Minister U Win Khaing said the Ministry of Construction is working based on the facts in the instruction. Tender-awarded companies are completely responsible for the tasks of standardisation, to be finished in the set period, to follow the disciplines in the contract term of guarantee. However, the quality control team and companies would not be responsible for those unexpected tasks caused by natural disasters or catastrophes.
Union Minister also answered a question by U Sai Mon, Member of Parliament for Laikha constituency on behalf of Daw Nan Khan Aye, Member of Parliament for Namtu constituency on whether the 13.2-mile long solid-structured-road to be ungraded as a tarred road will be finished. Only a 4.6-mile section has been tarred, the MPs said.
Then, Union Minister U Win Khaing answered the question of Dr U Aung Tun Khaing, Member of Parliament for Ye constituency for the establishment of one 16 bedded township hospital in Hnitkayin village group and a rural health care centre in Palainkee village group in the coming fiscal year and of Daw Nan Htwe Thu, Member of Parliament for Phasaung constituency also raised a question whether there would be a plan to continue the construction of the 25 bedded hospital to be 100 per cent complete by the supplemental budget for the 2017-2018 fiscal year. Then, Pyithu Hluttaw Speaker U Win Myint announced that the draft for hand-scooped oil production resent by Amyotha Hluttaw had been received and invited the enrollment for those Members of Parliament who wanted to propose the amendment.
Then, U Than Soe Aung, Member of Parliament for Pyinmana constituency, urged the Union government that all the region and state departments in the self-administered zones or division, all states and regions and all ministries are to follow the instructions from the industrial instruction book for practicing the contract system issued by the Ministry of Construction.
Dr Daw Kyi Moh Moh Lwin said that it has been too far away from actual expenditure, which is one of the aims of the instructions that it made extremely weak to meet the standard quality as the inspection works are done by negotiation or self-interests that can make people forget the responsibility and accountability while the contractors’ work are being inspected for standard quality.
Besides, there were not serious punishments and fines for being late. Although the construction accomplishment guarantee was also issued according to the instruction book, the company is still responsible for its work for another two years except in the case of natural disaster, she said.
She found the streets, bridges and buildings done by the government budget were damaged within months, as the quality did not met the standard, and the repetition of annul budget requests were also found to cover the standard. Tarred roads which did not meet the standard were back to the earthen road and stone structured roads were also damaged within months as refill works were being made.
She said the companies and departmental engineers are professionals. If they respect their profession and follow the professional ethics and responsibility, the streets, bridges and building will be constructed with pride. Thus goodwill will emerged in the country and public money will not be wasted.

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