ACC identifies 10 graft sources at PWD

Staff Correspondent

10 October, 2019 12:00 AM printer

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) identified 10 sources of corruption at the Public Works Department (PWD) at their report submitted to the ministry concerned.

ACC Commissioner Md Mozammel Haque Khan submitted the report to Public Works and Housing Minister SM Rezaul Karim on Wednesday at his secretariat office in the capital.

In the report the commission also suggested 20-points recommendations for preventing graft from the public works department.

Mozammel Haque Khan said the report is a kind of observation and short survey.

Information from ministry’s high officials, stakeholders, contractors and reports published in various newspapers, audit reports and annual reports of the ministry have been reviewed while making the survey, he said.

SM Rezaul Karim said: “We received the ACC report. The report will play a significant role in accelerating our work, bringing transparency and accountability in the department. We will consider this guideline with importance.”

“If the investigation is needed on the basis of this report, we will do it,” he added. The ACC investigators found that corruptions are rife mostly in the tender process.

Giving work to the chosen contractor, making unusual estimates prices, making projects in small packages, and ignoring conditions of tender are the common practices of corruption in the department.

Apart from this, use of low quality construction materials, slow pace in preparation, supervision, implementation and monitoring of projects are the sources of corruption, according to ACC report.

Poor allocation, hike in unnecessary expenditure, delays in finalizing architectural and structural design, and delay in finishing work by deadline are some other sources of corruption.

Non-cooperation of officers and employees at various levels of service delivery, non-payment of bills of contractors on time, and paying partial bills to the contractors despite enough allocation have also been reported in the survey.

To check corruption, ACC recommended fully implementation of E-GP tender process at public works department.

Project seeker agencies will need to ensure that the project has its accuracy or applicability when selecting the project, it also recommended.

It also said special attention must be paid to ensure that the project time is not extended illogically and unnecessarily. Impose fines if any contractor is failed to complete the work within deadline.

The report also suggested that online transfer system can be made directly to the contractor's account instead of paying the contractor's bill through cheque.

The maintenance work can be handed over to the contracting firm for a reasonable period after the implementation of construction work and they will bear all the cost of the maintenance during the time.

It also recommended that the Training Academy and Testing Laboratory of the Public Works Department needs to be modernized. Moreover, small size testing laboratory can be established in each district to test the quality of construction materials.

ACC also recommended that the construction of buildings is required as per the approved master plan of urban development. Ensure quality of work through regular supervision of engineers.

Departmental action can be taken against the officers of the Public Works Department who are involved in contracting firm or works while taking strict legal action against the concerned contractor and responsible engineers if found negligence in the construction or hiring contractors.

ACC also suggested for complete project work within the stipulated timeframe and it is necessary to be careful not to increase the cost of the project without logical reason to curb the corruption.