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Low Contracts Execution Blamed On Non-respect Of Regulations 

By Elvis Tah

The Secretary General at the Southwest Governor’s Office, Handerson Quetong Kongeh, has blamed the low execution of public contracts in the Region on the non-respect of rules and regulations of the Public Contract Regulatory Agency, ARMP.

Quetong was speaking recently to Southwest contracting officers meeting at the Southwest Regional Branch office of ARMP in Buea, to map out strategies on the follow-up and programming for the award of simple calls to tender by the Tenders Board. According to Quetong, proper programming in the award of contract makes for proper execution.

The representative of ARMP General Manager, Georgewill Fombe Mbah, said it is imperative to plan the award of contracts through calls to tender over one year. He stated that the average deadline for the award of a simple call to tender, with the single phase opening, is 94 days, adding that the process begins with the transfer of tenders file by the contracting authority to the Tenders Board. This is followed by the convening of Tenders Board members to examine the file and make observations to the contracting authority, within six days.

After the observation, he said, the contracting authority would publish the tender notice within five days and bidders will have 30 days thereafter, to submit their offers and opening of bids.    
He said the bids are to be evaluated by the Evaluation Sub-Committee, who then transmit the reports to the Tenders Board within 12 days and the process continues right to the point of contract notification.  Fombe stressed that publication of all calls to tender must be done in the ARMP Specialised Public Regulatory Journal or in the national daily, Cameroun Tribune. 

"We started the programming four years ago and each year, following instructions from the Public Contract Authority that we should get down to the field in all the Regions to organise the exercise so as to enable all delegating contracting authorities; all mayors and their collaborators; to effectively programme all the projects they have, so that they can execute them effectively and efficiently at the end of the year," Fombe said.

It was observed during the forum that there are some independent observers of Public Investment Contracts in the Southwest, who don’t attend meetings of the public contract award board, which also accounts for the under-use of the public investment budget.

"They are competent to attend meetings where the contract is above FCFA 30 million so as to follow up and report on the functioning and the award procedure, whether the rules and regulations are effectively followed," Fombe said. The ARMP Southwest Regional Branch Manager, George Daniel Musoungui, said the Agency wants to reduce the percentage of low use of credits."

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