Electricity body on the spot for breach of procurement rules

EDCL Managing Director Félix Gakuba adresses members of the Public Accounts Committee at Parliamentary Buildings in Kimihurura on Monday. Craish Bahizi.

Energy Development Corporation Limited (EDCL), a Rwanda Energy Group’s subsidiary, has been blamed for violating public procurement laws during electricity connections in the districts of Musanze, Burera and Gakenke.

Antoine Kayira, in charge of Monitoring and Audit Unit at Rwanda Public Procurement Authority, pointed out that the project lacked a supervising company which is a breach of procurement laws.

He was intervening as REG and its subsidiaries were responding to the Public Accounts Committee’s queries over the irregularities indicated in Auditor General’s 2017/2018 report.

The contract was signed between EDCL and SPENCON SERVICES Ltd for a total of $6.3 million but it failed to execute and finalise the works to deliver the 9,387 projected new connections which deprived residents of timely access to electricity

The contracts were consequently terminated by EDCL after a total of $ 3.1 million which represents 49 per cent of the total contract the amount had been paid to the contractor.

In analysing the delays, it was found that besides not recruiting the supervising company, tenders were awarded without a feasibility study.

“There are tenders executed without supervising companies which is a serious mistake. The law says that a tender worth over Rwf50 million must have a supervising company and REG violated this provision,” he said adding that REG used its own staff to supervise the activities but the project failed to deliver on time

“The law says that if a supervision company fails in its duties, it must be held accountable. This means if REG preferred to use its own staff to supervise the activities despite this being illegal, it must also be held accountable since works were not executed as planned,” he explained

REG officials and the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Infrastructure admitted the mistake of not recruiting the supervising company.

However, Felix Gakuba, the Managing Director of EDCL, said that after taking over the implementation of the project, there has been good progress since 2018.

“We sent our team to complete the activities, so far the execution is 95 per cent complete in Musanze and Burera districts, while works have been completed in Gakenke,” he said.

Ron Weiss, the Chief Executive Officer of Rwanda Energy Group, said that by the end of September the activities in all districts will have been completed.

Other irregularities were also found in awarding a tender to a company to buy spare parts for Ntaruka, Mukungwa and Nyabarongo hydropower plants without following procedure.

Jean Chrysostome Ngabitsinze, the PAC Chairperson, added that another tender of supplying diesel for generators was offered to a firm without showing bankruptcy statement or a similar contract executed elsewhere, while there was one that had showed its technical capacity.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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