Finance Minister Seth Tekper has charged contractors to do due diligence by ensuring that Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA’s) have adequate budgetary allocations for projects before they (contractors) undertake pRoberts in agreement with the MDA’s.
The Finance Ministers’ comments come on the back of agitations by some contractors that government still owes despite the latter’s position that it is clearing the arrears.
Speaking exclusively on TV3’s Business and Finance program: Business Focus, the Minister raised concerns with the lack of adequate checks by the contractors to ascertain the availability of funds for particular projects before agreeing to undertake them.
Mr. Tekper said “we have paid down quite a significant amount of arrears. We are a country where Ministries, Departments and Agencies should spend within their budgets.
“We have a GIFMIS project in place to ensure that we put the estimates in the budget electronically, and right now all releases are done electronically.
“Which means that if you do not have a budget, you cannot spend. I think it is also very important for contractors to do due diligence to ensure that Ministries, Departments and Agencies have the budget for the contract.
“But more importantly we also have some contractors who say that I can pre-finance a project and when the nation goes through certain difficulties, it becomes difficult [to pay them].”
The Finance Minister further indicated “it is important that both parties, government and the contractors as part of the controlling of the budget, we are going to be putting contracts on the GIFMIS system such that without a budget, you cannot even process a contract.”
Successive governments over the years have had a Herculean task of clearing debts owed contractors executing government projects. Sometimes these projects are left uncompleted to the detriment of residents living within the catchment areas of the projects.
By Martin Asiedu-Dartey|3news.com|Ghana