Audit reveals irregularities in ADB-funded Sri Lanka water project

ECONOMYNEXT – An audit of a water and waste water project in the Sri Lanka capital Colombo funded by Asian Development Bank has revealed several irregularities and delays.

The audit by the state Auditor-General’s Department said there had been non-compliance with laws, rules and regulations.

One project to upgrade water supply in the southern and western parts of the city had been signed by the chairman of the National Water Supply and Drainage Board instead of the secretary of the minister under which it comes, according to government procurement guidelines.

Only 16.5 million dollars had been used out of 80 million dollars (10.3 billion rupees) allocated as at 31 December 2017 after more than three years of the project’s start, the audit report said.
“Completion of activities of the project within the specified period remained in doubt due to the lack of a comprehensive plan for implementation purposes,” the audit report said.

Delays in awarding contracts, poor performance of contractors and poor project management meant that only six percent of the overall physical progress of the project had been completed.

Realistic estimates had not been done by the Water Board at the initial stage of the project resulting in the lengths of pipe laying work doubling to 195 kilometres from the estimated 99 km.

Contracts had been given to bidders who had not submitted required certificates, the audit report said. 
(COLOMBO, 23 November 2018)


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