Lawmakers Frown at Public Works Minister for “Single-Sourcing” 34 Contracts

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Members of the House of Representatives have expressed shock and disappointment over the sole sourcing of 34 contracts by the Ministry of Public Works. The contracts were mainly sourced out from 2011-2014.

Representatives Edwin M. Snowe, William Dakel and Munah Pelham-Young blood frown at the reception of the “No Objection Request” by the Public Procurement Concession Commission (PPCC) from the Public Works Ministry under the so-called international permissible method of procuring goods and services.

These lawmakers believed that the single-sourcing of the contracts is inarguably the result of the poor quality of roads and infrastructure project across the country.

The lawmakers’ frustration triggered during report delivered by Public Works Minister Antoinette Week on Tuesday, June 10, 2014, the 35th sitting of the 3rd session of the House of Representatives of the 53rd Legislature.

The lawmakers also expressed discontent over the money allotted on the marking of roads, such as the Buchanan Road, which is over US$500,000.

During her 4-hour deliberation, Madam Weeks told the lawmakers that about 72 percent of all contracts given by the Public Works were singled-sourced without any form of bidding.

“34 out of 34 or one hundred percent of these civil works contracts reviewed were singled-sourced without any bidding, but with a no objection approval received by the Ministry of Public Works from the Public Procurement Concession Commission (PPCC),” Minister Weeks said.

The Public Works Minister argued that a “sole-sourcing” is an international permissible method of procuring goods and services.

Howbeit, in order to seek detailed and in-depth answers from the single sourcing and the marking of roads and the completion of the 16-page report; the Public Works Minister is expected to reappear on Thursday, June 12, 2014.

Meanwhile, critics say former Public Works Minister, Samuel Kofi Woods needs to be summoned and asked “Why he can’t be held in contempt for initiating the single-sourcing of 34 contracts.”

Mr. Woods, who was known as President Sirleaf's "loyal servant"—quoting her own words— resigned in May 2013 in quiet mood.

Woods, a consummate rights advocate, came to the helm of the Ministry of Public Works in 2009 after serving at the Ministry of Labor for three years.

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