Ministries pass the buck over ignorance and lack of coordination on EDP

The recently launched Economic Development Policy (EDP) 2017, states that major public procurement works shall have a minimum defect liability period of three years and an inbuilt system of repair and maintenance thereafter, to ensure quality and sustainability of public infrastructure.

But officials from Ministry of Work and Human Settlement (MoWHS) are not aware about such changes brought about in the construction clauses of the policy.

Some of senior officials from MoWHS said that they were not involved in the consultative meeting during the framing of the policy and that they are oblivious on the extension of the defect liability period to three years from the earlier one year.

Roads Director Karma Galay said that the earlier three years of defect liability period was mandated only for the North East West Highway and one year for the other public procurement works. “We are not aware that the minimum defect liability period has been extended to three years from the earlier one year,” he said. “We were not part of the discussion but if it is so as pointed out, I guess the minimum defect liability period was extended mainly to assure the quality of the works so that the contractors will not carry out shady works.”

Ministry officials found the Construction Development Board (CDB) an apt association to refer the queries regarding the extension of the minimum defect liability to three years. But the officiating Director of CDB said that the Public Procurement and Policy Division under Ministry of Finance will have better explanations and answers on the matter.

The Deputy Chief Planning Officer from Ministry of Finance in consultation with the procurement division viewed that since the queries are related to EDP 2017, the paper get in touch with the custodian of the policy, which is Ministry of Economic Affairs (MoEA).

The Chief Planning Officer from the Policy and Planning Division under MoEA, said the policy is a consultative effort between the Ministry and the other concerned Ministries and that MoWHS would be the right Ministry to refer the aforementioned queries and seek clarity.

“The issue was discussed in consultation with the officials from MoWHS, where several engineers and head of the Department of Road were also present,” he said.

With each ministry and organisation passing the issue from one to another, the prominent indication of this and several similar issues accentuate the lack of coordination and consultation within as well as among the ministries in professionally channeling out any new policies.

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