Timely completion of ADP projects and their costs largely hinge on close monitoring of their execution activities, observed a project watchdog.
In particular, greater oversight by executing agencies and their parent ministries or divisions determines the project output, said an IMED report.The Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Division (MIED) made the observation in its review as it found a number of flaws in project designing and execution levels in its latest ADP (Annual Development Programme) review report of FY18.
“If close monitoring can be ensured, completion of all project components within approved deadline with maintaining quality will become much easier,” said the report.
The World Bank, other lenders and local analysts have repeatedly called for improving quality of public spending, citing time and cost overrun and last-minute spending spree.
Too little has been done for too many problems when it comes to reform public investment programming, according to the World Bank. It also stressed on physical implementation, monitoring and follow-up along with better procurement management and resolving land issue and appointing project managements at the start of any scheme for better ADP execution.
The IMED report suggests that out of 1,740 ADP projects last year fiscal progress of 237 or 13.62 percent and physical progress of 193 projects was not satisfactory at all.
Of them, 90 projects with Tk 916 crore allocation saw zero fiscal progress, while 98 projects’ real progress was found to be nil in 2017-18 fiscal year.Nominal amount of one lakh taka was allocated for 25 projects of which only two could see some fiscal progress.
Besides, 104 projects out of 246 finished projects were declared finished without completing whole project work. Some 50 percent to 75 percent money was spent against many of these schemes.
Cumulative expenditure against 155 projects, nearly 5 percent of total projects, being run for years was found to be zero, exposing failure in project management.
IMED has identified a number of challenges at project formulation, approval and accomplishment levels.
About a major reason for subsequent increase in volume of project work and cost hike, it blamed short-sighted project proposal formulation without taking into account future context.
Undertaking projects without considering executing agencies’ capacity is also another major reason for project failure.
Absence of market-demand analysis, logical framework, work and procurements plans has also been identified as problems at project formulation and approval level.
At implementation stage, frequent transfer of project directors (PDs), overburden PDs with more than one projects, delay in foreign loan deal and procurement proposal approval by lenders, delay in land acquisition and utility shifting and frequent revisions to projects have been blamed.
IMED’s role in project oversight, reporting and execution recommendation is also critical for quality project implementation, its officials say.
But the state-run project monitoring agency scrambles to perform its designated job because of limited manpower and financial capacity.