The Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) has set up a monitoring team to ensure that consultants and contractors on various educational infrastructure projects deliver quality and timely projects.
It is the first time such a monitoring team has been instituted since the establishment of the GETFund in 2000.
The team, made up of persons from the Office of the GETFund Administrator, Ghana Education Service (GES) and the Ministry of Education, has been divided into 10 groups to work throughout the country.
Logistics including vehicles for the all-important exercise have been procured, while the GETFund Zonal Office has also been established in Kumasi to take care of the Middle Belt and Northern Sectors of the country.
The noble idea was hatched by the current handlers of the GETFund, Mr. Richard Boadu, and the Board chaired by Professor Dominic Fobih, a former Minister of Education, to prevent the crooked and haphazard manner GETFund projects were hitherto handled.
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Sources at the GETFund have it that an office to take care of the Northern Sector will be established next year so that the Kumasi office would take care of the Middle Belt Zone, while the Accra office would deal with Southern Zone.
In the past, there was no monitoring, so contractors and consultants had a field day to do their own thing.
As part of the strict measures to ensure quality and value for money, the GETFund this time round engages consultants on a monthly basis to have a proper briefing on projects throughout the country.
Consultants that are not ready to go according to the dictates of the GETFund are now sanctioned and if possible blacklisted.
The sources said that the GETFund with new direction is working to ensure quality projects and timely delivery without compromising on the comfort of consultants and contractors.
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Awards Of contracts
The old system of one contractor having about seven to 10 projects does not exist anymore, as contractors are not allowed to control the turf and decide what to do.
In the past, one contractor could have more projects and that was having far-reaching ramifications on quality and timely delivery of projects.
Again, hitherto, consultants were not working in close collaboration with the GETFund and made some contractors to get away with shoddy works.
Payment of contractors
The sources at the GETFund office in Accra revealed that arrears owed to contractors who worked on projects in second cycle institutions from 2014 to 2019 had been paid.
Those who have not been sorted out are those who worked on a teachers’ quarters’ project, among others.
The current handlers of the GETFund have reduced the duration of paying contractors with correct documentation on completed projects.
In the past, it could take years before contractors could get payments, a situation that paved the way for ‘middlemen’ to be chasing payments for contractors.
The middlemen nuisance has been eliminated and contractors are now paid as early as two weeks after submitting genuine projects certificates.
The current administration last year secured some $1.5billion for the GETFund to take care of old projects’ completion and the commencement of new ones.