Concerns over ENB school contractor

National, Normal


THE work of a local contractor involved in the K5 million RESI project for the Malaguna Technical High School in Rabaul is being scrutinised by provincial authorities after allegations were raised against it.
Member for Rabaul and Minister for Justice and Attorney-General Allan Marat has called on Education secretary Dr Joseph Pagelio to inspect the progress of the renovations being undertaken at the high school.
The project will be completed in three phases. The first, costing K1.5 million, has been completed, the second phase is currently in progress and costs K2 million, and the final phase will cost another K1.5 million.
Dr Marat said in a statement that although the renovation programme was into its seventh month, both the provincial and Rabaul district administrations had no copies of contract documents and no contacts with the contractor.
He said it was unusual that his district administrator, Wilson Matava, had not been formally appointed to be superintendent of the project as expected.
Dr Marat called for an investigation to ensure that the procedures were followed in the awarding of the contract.
He said under the Public Finance Management Act, since the project was worth K5 million, it came under the Central Supply and Tenders Board (CSTB) which awarded the contract to the local contractor.
But to date, he said, it seemed the contractor was dealing directly with the Office of Rural Development (ORD) and did not seem to be involving the provincial or district administration.
He claimed the contractor was doing what he wanted with the K5 million project while the provincial and district administrations and the provincial works manager “stood by as spectators”.
School principal Eva Magaga confirmed receiving a letter from the provincial administrator Akuila Tubal which expressed disappointment at a number of flaws observed in the procurement process for the project.
She added that the school did not have a copy of the contract documents.
Meanwhile, president of the school’s parents and citizens committee Kipling Ture, said they were raising funds to hire a private contractor to fix electrical faults in dormitories which were recently renovated in the first phase of the project.