Delayed project increases budget under-spending

Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Kenneth Matambo says project implementation continues to pose a challenge to government.

In his 2015/16 Budget Speech on Monday, Matambo highlighted that during NDP 10, the development budget was under spent by an average of 17.3 percent and in 2011/2012 through to 2013/2014 due to delayed project implementation.

“Even where projects are finally delivered, they are usually characterised by cost overruns and questionable quality,” he said.

Matambo said it is against this background that government continues to take measures to improve project implementation. Currently, PPADB is conducting training of procuring entities, committees of the board, ministerial tender committees and district tender committees to enhance their procurement skills.

The public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board (PPADB) is implementing the integrated procurement management system to enhance procurement management and reduce lead times in public procurement. The system would provide a platform for online bidding which includes preparation of procurement plans, generation of invitation to tender documents, downloading tender documents, online tender submission and online adjudication.

Matambo pointed out that other major projects in this financial year include the North-South Water Carrier II Kanye and Molepolole connection to the North-South Water Carrier, Mahalapye and Palapye Water Network extension and Maun Water and Sanitation. Other major projects include: upgrading of existing ICT infrastructure to optic fibre as well as broadband connectivity in Gaborone, Francistown, Maun and Kasane.

The construction of Kazungula, Thamalakane and Mohembo bridges million, upgrading of some existing road junctions and improvements of traffic signals, as well as access to Central Business District in Gaborone.

In the past few years, projects that have been affected by cost overruns and or delays include Francistown stadium, Morupule B, Maun secondary school and Dibete police station.

Matambo highlighted that the last few years have seem government gradually strengthening its macro-fiscal management and budget formulation capabilities. “In the process, my ministry has been able to develop and implement a Medium-Term Fiscal Framework which generates fiscal forecasts. In addition, government will implement a Medium Term Expenditure Framework in the 2015/2016 financial year, to strengthen management of public finance spending,” he said.

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