The Auditor-General has slammed the Ghana Highways Authority (GHA) for failing to institute measures on feasibility data for the review of three road projects it awarded on contract between 2012 and 2019.
According to the Auditor-General, even though the GHA approved preliminary designs for the said projects, they were not detailed enough for the three projects to commence.
The three projects were the East Legon-Spintex Road Underpass, Eastern Corridor Road Project Lots 5 & 6 and the Oil and Gas Enclave roads.
A performance audit report by the Auditor-General on the GHA submitted to parliament and sighted by the Ghanaian Times revealed that the absence of feasibility data resulted in variations, increase in the project duration and budget.
The report prepared by the Auditor-General, Mr Daniel Yaw Domelevo explained that the GHA commenced the Eastern Corridor road project with preliminary designs, however, the absence of a feasibility data resulted in variations and a reduction of the project length by 41.3km.
Furthermore, it said the project which was scheduled to be completed on November 4, 2016 was only 76% completed at the time of the audit, compelling the Ministry of Roads and Highways to compensate the contractor with US $23,762,165.35 and a 21 months extension due to delays in payment.
On the Oil and Gas Enclave roads, the he said the project commenced without detailed feasibility and engineering studies and this resulted in delay of the project leading to huge cost overruns.
It noted that project delayed due to variations, compensation of project affected persons, relocation of utilities and claims for delay in payment in completion.
Consequently, it has directed that the GHA followed accepted procedure and good practice in planning for road projects, follow due process in the engagement of consultants and contractors to execute selected road projects and put measures in place to deliver the selected road projects within scope, cost time and quality standards.
In addition, the GHA must ensure that the road projects were completed and all relevant certificates issued.
“For GHA to review data provided by contractors engaged in design and build contracts, we recommend that GHA should; draw a plan and support the Survey and Design Division to prepare feasibility studies and compile data to cover roads earmarked to be developed in their strategic plans,” he said.
Furthermore, the report said it was important that the GHA to plan for future projects to ensure that all relevant information needed for the project to take off, as per Section 3 (1) (g) of Act 540 were available in the form of a feasibility study report.
BY CLIFF EKUFUL