Stakeholders need to prepare contract files on time and award them to competent contractors.

For the first time in recent years in Cameroon’s public contracts history, public contract award conferences and that of projects requiring counterpart funds were launched in December.

The exercise piloted by the Minister Delegate at the Presidency in charge of Public Contracts and that of Economy, Planning and Regional Development sought to get all stakeholders on board the innovation to

accelerate the procedures for a speedy contract award and therefore execution of projects financed with Public Investment Budget (PIB) as well as those financed by donor agencies but which also require counterpart funds from the State.

What Could Change?

The early launch of the conferences was to ensure celerity in the entire contract award chain whose fruit could be visible in the rate of consumption of PIB. Hope is that ministerial, regional and sub-divisional public contract award committees would hurry up with their tender files for a speedy award and effective execution of projects. The budget is already operational and the project logbook available. There is therefore no justification for delays.

If one goes by what officials said during the conferences, the calendar for launching calls for tenders, awarding the contracts, signing them as well as when executed projects are to be received should be handy.  Should calls for tenders be launched as early as January and with the two or two and half months needed to select the final bidder, enough time would have been given for project execution.

Only then can the country move from the vexing low execution of PIB which in December 31, 2013 obliged the Head of State to angrily question where the problem was coming from. The situation was reportedly better in 2014 (89.6 per cent engagement rate as at September 30, 2014 up from 68.5 per cent same period in 2013).

Guarantee For Success

Launching public contract award conferences is just one among many procedures and the Ministry of Public Contracts is also just one among the many actors in the public contracts chain. Succeeding in the entire process therefore needs synergy. The Ministry of Public Contracts only awards contracts of certain magnitude whose files are prepared by the structures concerned.  

Vote holders therefore need to get best contractors who have the technical and financial capacity to execute outlined projects. With this, the files should be well constituted so as to avoid rejection by tender committees which often delay the exercise.

Its success would curb or eliminate projects abandonment often masterminded by awarding contracts to firms that do not have the required technical expertise or the financial strength to start off the projects before receiving funding from the State. This would also limit delays, deliberate or not, which most often push authorities to award contracts on emergency procedures. This defeats competition in contract award and jeopardises quality.

Source: Cameroun Tribune

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