THE Auditor General’s Office has noted questionable award of a weighbridge contract in Chongwe to Nelkan Industrial Construction Limited in 2015 by the Road Development Agency.
This is contained in its latest report on Road Projects under the Road Development Agency for the period January 2012 to December 2015.
According to the report, on January 12, 2015, RDA engaged Nelkan Industrial Construction Limited to construct, within seven months, a fixed electronic weighbridge station in Chongwe at a contract sum of K16,337,121.
The Report states that the project start date was January 30, 2015.
It states that the contract sum was, however, varied to K18,686,346 and completion date moved to December 29, 2015 from August 29, 2015.
According to the report, the RDA also signed a supervision contract on April 4, 2011 with Zulu Development Consultants Limited worth K484,012, but which was revised to K1,306,573 and its completion date was revised to December 2015.
“This was a World Bank funded project whose support depended in part on implementation according to schedule. The scope of works included: construction of driveway and parking areas; construction of weighbridge house, weighbridge pit, offices and mitre drains and passing lanes; installation of road signs and road line making, weighbridge platform and other equipment’; and sinking of borehole and associated pipe works,” reads the report. “The following were observed: Although the contract was awarded to Nelkan Industrial Construction Limited, the award was questionable as Nelkan Industrial Construction Limited failed the evaluation at the preliminary stage because he amended the bid form to exclude any adjudicator on the contract and this was considered a major deviation and was contrary to the Public Procurement Act.”
The report notes that on December 14, 2015, the contract was terminated because the Nelkan Industrial Construction Limited failed to meet the requirements of clause 59.2 (f) of the signed contract due to slow pace of work due to improper planning in execution, failure to have critical construction equipment such as excavator, grader, water bowser and roller.
“This equipment had been withdrawn from the contractor because he failed to pay the supplier of the equipment,” reads the report.
The report also states that the contract was terminated because of non-renewal of the insurance bond, performance security and advance payment guarantee which had expired on October 18, 2015, January 29, 2016 and October 20, 2015, respectively.
According to the report, the contract was also terminated for gross incompetence from the contractor as communicated by the Consultant in a letter dated 5th November 2015, which cited replacement of the Surveyor and Site Engineer with staff whose qualifications were unknown.
The Auditor General reported that RDA lost the World Bank funding for the Chongwe Weighbridge project because of the contractor’s failure to complete works within the contractual seven months.
It also reports that a scrutiny of project records reveal that K3,267,424 was paid as advance payment to the contractor.
“Out of this K2,123,826 was recovered while the balance of K1,143,500 had not been recovered as of December 2016,” reads the report.