Chilima cautions Roads Authority on contracts

Vice President Saulos Chilima has told the Roads Authority (RA) to seriously change the way it conducts business, especially on awarding of contracts for construction of roads.

Chilima who is also Minister of Economic Planning and Public Sector Reforms issued the warning on Friday when he met the management team from the Roads Authority.

He said the authority should change the way it has been conducting its business.

“I have advised them to follow procedure in awarding contracts as well as sticking to their mandate which is to ensure that public roads – under their jurisdiction – are constructed, maintained or rehabilitated at all times as well as playing advisory role to the Ministry of Transport,” said Chilima.

The RA is mandated to ensure that public roads – under their jurisdiction – are constructed, maintained or rehabilitated at all times as well as playing advisory role to the Ministry of Transport.

Chilima was informed during the meeting that the RA is geared to review the Public Roads Act so that it is updated to give it more mandate to enhance the management of public roads.

He assured the institution that the Tonse Alliance government is committed to help RA to have legislation that reflects modernity in the roads sector. It is expected that the bill will be enacted by February, 2021.

Another reform area that RA is working on, is on the devolution of road network management to local councils especially those in districts so that the Authority only concentrates on crucial roads.

Chilima on Friday also engaged the National Construction Industry Council (NCIC) and was encouraged to note that the organisation is in a good financial position.

“I learnt that the council has posted surpluses in the past five years, subsequently enabling the institution to increase payment of dividends to the government,” he said.

Some of the areas that the council has been working on include the review of the National Construction Industry (NCI) Act as well as the establishment of regional offices to enhance service delivery.

During the meeting it was agreed that there is a need to review and amend the NCI Act to reflect modern and emerging needs in the industry.

“We have also noted that across the board, progress in some parastatals is being hampered by outdated legislation that make the institutions impossible to properly carry out some of their mandates.

“To this effect, we have welcomed the amendment proposal, more so as an enabler towards a new reform area for the council as it aspires to become and renamed Construction Industry Regulatory Authority,” said Chilima.

 

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