Senate Investigates MPW Over US$ 21m Road Contracts

Liberia-April 18, 2024: The Plenary of the Liberian Senate has mandated the Committees on Judiciary, Public Works as well as Public Accounts and Audits to investigate recent contract allegedly awarded to some Contractors by the Ministry of Public Works and Rural Development(MPW) for roads rehabilitation and construction across the Country.

The Senate’s decision was triggered during Thursday’s sitting based on a communication from Senators Nathaniel F. Mcgill of Margibi County, Gbehzongar M. Findley of Grand Bassa County, Simeon B. Taylor of Grand Cape Mount County as well as Abraham Darius Dilllon of Montserrado County respectively.

The four Senators informed Plenary that authorities at the (MPW) reportedly awarded contracts to contractors in the sum of Twenty one Million United States Dollars (21 Million) for the rehabilitation and construction of roads across the Country.

Senators Mcgill, Taylor, Findley and Dillon revealed that the contract analysis include but not limited to, CHICO from Salayea to Voinjama an amount of US $3,999.000.00, SSF from Voinjama to Foya, US $1,719.976.40, SSF from Foya to Mendikorma, US $740,650.00.

Others include: CICO from Tapita to Zwedru US $3,200.000.00, CHICO, from Zwedru to Karnweakan US $2,434.700.00, Barclaycille to Pleebo US $1,507.750.00, Buchanna to ITI, US $2,123.651.88 and ITI to Greenville, US $2, 882. 000.00.

“It is fundamental that any government institution issuing contracts must ensure that funding is available before awarding such contracts as outline in the Public Financial Management (PFM) and the PPCC act which also placed emphasis on international and national open competitive bidding processes for contract ceiling for procurement of goods and services” the Senators acknowledged.

They pointed to the lack of failure by the MPW to adhere to the Amended and Restated Public Procurement and Concession Act of 2005, as such, the awarding of said contracts demonstrate lack of adherence to the rule of law.

The Senators at the same time informed Plenary that the Public Works Ministry allegedly awarded the Contracts on a letter to proceed which gives the Contractors the right to acquire loan on a pre-financing agreement, arguing that such should not be done without an approved national budget.

At the same time the Senators informed Plenary that any institution seeking to enter into pre-financing agreements must first seek Legislative approval consistent with article 34(d) of the Liberian constitution and its subsection where applicable.

Meanwhile, the four Senators are calling on the Liberian Senate to prohibit the Public Works Ministry from proceeding with the contracts until an approved budget is passed by the legislature. The Joint Committee is expected to report within one week .

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