Kisumu Governor Prof. Anyang Nyong’o has put contractors who delay completion of projects on notice.
The Governor said some contractors in the area had developed a habit of demanding for partial payments before completion of projects thus exceeding the set timelines for completion of works. The contractors, he said, had formed a caucus through which they camp at the County headquarters to demand for payment.
“When we issue out tenders we give to individual firms. Therefore there is nothing like a community of contractors and you must desist from that habit,” he said.
To tame the rogue contractors, the Governor said the County government will no longer honor partial payment certificates. The Governor added that contractors who fail to deliver projects within the set timelines will not be paid.
“We have strengthened our monitoring and evaluation department by employing additional staff to ensure that only projects that are done to the set specifications and requirements are paid,” Nyongó said.
He attributed the behavior of contractors in the area to the Sh. 2.5 billion pending bill the County inherited from the previous regime adding that measures have been put in place to ensure prudent expenditure of public funds.
The County government, he said has developed a policy to guide in the clearance of the pending bills. “My government is doing everything possible to fast-track the payment of these bills under the guidance of the auditor general as regards the eligibility of pending bills since 2013,” he said.
Speaking during the State of the County address at Mama Grace Onyango Social Centre in Kisumu on Thursday, the Governor disclosed that his government paid pending bills amounting to Sh 592 million.
“It is possible to wipe out pending bills entirely if we award contracts in time while the contractors move fast to fully accomplish projects without raising partial payment certificates where unnecessary,” he said.
Prof. Nyongó added the County government was focused on reducing the wage bill to manageable levels to ensure that meaningful development in the area is realized. He added that an in-depth audit of the County payroll has been launched to weed out any ghost workers.
On revenue, the Governor said the County has increased the number of staff in the department by 200 percent and at the same time procured additional Point of Sale (POA) kits to boost collection.
By Chris Mahandara