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Transparency gaps in construction industry

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The Construction Sector Transparency Initiative (CoST) Malawi chapter is calling upon players in the sector, governance institutions and the media to hold hands in enhancing transparency, if the sector is to grow.

CoST Malawi Chairperson, Joe Ching’ani said that despite strides made by the initiative and other governance institutions, a lot more needs to be done to ensure utmost transparency in construction.

This comes against a background that some of the construction works being done in the country are of low standards and are easily damaged, which cost the country huge sums of money in repairs.

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The development ignited assertions in the public domain that some of the construction contracts are won by companies owned by officials in the client ministries, which results in lack of monitoring for such projects.

Ching’ani stressed that the media should take a leading role in following up projects from pre-site visits to the handover of a completed project.

He further said that some of the processes that are followed in awarding contracts give room to corruption and fraud that leads to substandard work.

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“The construction sector is a multi-billion dollar industry. The CoST programme is trying to complement governance bodies such as the ACB, the Auditor General and the Office of the Director of Public Procurement by keeping in check project implementers, project managers and the way procurement is conducted.

“We encourage putting information in the public domain so that relevant institutions make decisions to take action and perhaps take project implementers to task and we need assistance from the media. These other governance institutions should walk the talk, if the industry is to develop,” Ching’ani said.

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