Around 75 percent of the projects under the annual development programme (ADP) are not finished within the stipulated time and get revised several times, causing cost overruns and depriving people of reaping expected benefits, said a secretary yesterday.
Abul Mansur Mohammad Faizullah, secretary to the Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Division (IMED) under the planning ministry, said 70 to 75 percent of projects could not be finished within the deadline and this causes most worries.
Because of the revision and the implementation delay, the cost of a project goes up, he said.
“These issues need to be sorted out,” he said while addressing the 13th meeting of Public-Private Stakeholders Committee organised by Central Procurement Technical Unit (CPTU) at National Economic Council in Sher-e-Bangla Nagar of Dhaka.
He said while preparing development project proposals, various challenges such as floods, water-logging and rains were taken into account. Still these challenges are used as an excuse while seeking revision, but these pretexts are not acceptable, the secretary said.
Planning Minister MA Mannan anno0unced that from now on projects would not be revised more than twice.
If a project is revised more than twice, a special memo will be required and discussions will be held on the reasons for the revision. The implementing agencies will have to explain the reasons in details, he said.
He blamed bad contractors for delays in project implementation, saying they killed time instead of completing a task as per schedule.
The minister said the government would prepare a comprehensive policy to make a blacklist of contractors.
He directed the CPTU to take necessary initiatives to formulate the policy.
The IMED secretary said a provision to blacklist contractors already existed but it was not used effectively. Now, the division will take an initiative to make the provision effective.
The CPTU is engaging citizens under a Digitising Implementation Monitoring and Public Procurement Project, which is supported by World Bank.
In a statement, the CPTU said citizen engagement in public procurement in the form of monitoring contract implementation has produced better results.
At the meeting, Mirza Hassan, fellow of the Brac Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD), gave a presentation on the problems faced by the implementing agencies during execution of projects.
The BIGD has engaged Brac Community Empowerment Programme to facilitate citizen monitoring.
Citizens lodged 32 grievances about the quality of works in construction of roads and schools in 16 upazilas with the related supervising engineers of Local Government Engineering Department.
Of the grievances, 30 have been settled and two remained unresolved, the statement said.
The statement said the citizens were enthusiastic in monitoring contracts, particularly the retired ones. Due to household chores, women find it difficult to make time for monitoring.
The planning minister said the government was very sincere about citizen engagement in public procurement and wants to stop the wastage of public money.
CPTU Director General Md Ali Noor also spoke.