Liberia Senate are set to probe contractors that are handling unapproved projects in the country. The country plenary of the Liberian Senate has instructed its Committees on Judiciary, Public Works and Public Accounts and Audits to look into dealings with the Public Works Ministry.

The decision to probe the ministry is as a result of the ministry awarding over US$21 worth of contracts to several contractors without legislative approval.

During a session held last week, the decision was taken in the presence of Senators Nathaniel McGill, Abraham Dillon, Gbehzongar Findley and Simeon Taylor of Margibi, Montserrado, Grand Bassa and Grand Cape Mount Counties respectively during a joint session.

According to their resolution, they noted that the contract was given to CHICO from Salayea to Voinjama at an amount of US$3,999,000, SSF from Voinjama to Foya at US$1,719,976.40, SSF from Foya to Mendikorma, at US$740,650 while the rest was awarded to CICO to connect from Tapita to Zwedru at US$3,200,000, CHICO, from Zwedru to Karnweakan at US$2,434,700, Barclayville to Pleebo valued US$1,507,750, Buchanna to ITI, US$2,123,651.88 and ITI to Greenville, US$2, 882,000.

Speaking during the session, all four senators noted that before any contract is awarded, that funding is made available as outlined in the Public Financial Management (PFM) and the PPCC Act.

They further said that the failure of the Ministry to adhere to the Amended and Restated Public Procurement and Concession Act of 2005, stressing that the awarding of said contracts demonstrates lack of adherence to the rule of law.

According to the Senators, “The absence of an approved budget, except for the Two Million United States Dollars (US$2,000,000) allotted for Policy Priorities (100-Day Deliverables) out of the approved Forty-One Million United Starts Dollars (US$41,000,000) requested in February, raises questions about the source of funding for these contracts awarded by the Ministry of Public Works,

“Furthermore, any institution seeking to enter into a pre-financing agreement must first seek legislative approval in accordance with Article 14 (d) of the Liberian Constitution and its subsections where applicable. It is essential that we uphold the principles of good governance and transparency in all government actions for the benefit of the Liberian people as they deserve a government that acts in their best interests and upholds rule of law,” they added.

They are expected to report back to the plenary within one week

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