The Central Regional Coordinating Council (CRCC), has urged Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to implement the Assemblies Common Fund projects one at a time to reduce the rate at which they are delayed and abandoned.
It said it was not financially feasible to embark on such projects en-masse given that the District Assembly Common Fund (DACF) was disbursed erratically.
The admonition follows a CRCC-led monitoring exercise, which revealed that a number of DACF projects are either behind schedule or had been abandoned largely due to delay in the disbursement of the fund.
According to Mr Bless Darkey, the Regional Budget Analyst, CRCC, speaking on the findings of the monitoring exercise, of a total of 163 physical DACF and DACF-Response Factor Grant (DACF-RFG) projects inspected across the region, 32 of the 77 DACF were behind schedule with three others, completely abandoned.
In the case of the DACF-RFG projects, 24 of the 88 inspected projects were also behind schedule due to other factors such as climatic conditions and cost variations other than the lack of funds.
The situation, the report indicated, had resulted in cost overrun, scope changes and compromised quality and client acceptability, which otherwise could have been invested in other competing capital projects.
Mr Darkey said in all the 163 projects inspected, 103 were completed with 26 of them not in use for various reasons, including the fact that some of them were awaiting commissioning.
For years, the District Assembly’s Common Fund has not been forthcoming and for this year, it has been worse.
Mr Darkey maintained that it was imperative the Assemblies minimised the number of projects embarked upon because the flow of the resource was not regular.
“We know how the Common Fund comes in and so, we have to be very strategic in planning the implementation of such projects,” he noted.
Citing the strategy of Agona West Assembly, he indicated that that district had halted all new projects and focusing on completing old ones, mainly road rehabilitations and pavements constructions.
“And so, if you are an Assembly and you do not prepare your cash plan, you might end up having a lot of projects that may not be completed,” he added.
Mr Darkey further admonished MMDAs to implement maintenance plans to sustain all completed projects.
He observed that many a time, projects were completed without plans to maintain them, resulting in their speedy deterioration.
“But we should all know that projects are meant to have impact and enhance the standard of living of the people.
“If you put up a school project, it may take some years to make the desired impact and you must continue to improve upon quality. So, if the project is done poorly as the findings revealed in some districts, it might not take up to three years before they deteriorate,” he said.
To ensure that the projects met their lifespan of more than 10 years, it was important to ensure quality and adopt maintenance plans to maintain them, he stressed.
“At least, every three years, you can fix broken parts and paint those buildings to continue to make them new. The RCC will be keen on maintenance plans during future monitoring exercises,” he cautioned.