Abia Will Enforce Due Process Compliance in MDAs
As Gov Otti Prohibits Shortcuts, Unwholesome Practices in His Govt
The Abia State government would ensure that all the ministries, departments and agences of government adhere strictly to the tenets of due process and financial regulation, the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the Governor on Due Process, Dr Oluebube Chukwu has said.
He gave this assurance when he received the Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Philemon Asonye Ogbonna, and members of the Management team of the Ministry, who came to the Due Process Office on fact-finding interactive meeting.
To this end, Chukwu advised MDAs that when embarking on capital projects they should make it a point of duty to strictly work within the provisions in their annual budgets as approved by the State House of Assembly.
The SSA on Due Process stressed the need for total compliance, saying that the new government in Abia would never compromise standard procedure in doing things given that accountability is its watchword.
“Governor Alex Chioma Otti’s administration has jettisoned any form of shortcuts and practices that have impeded development in the state, and has made it mandatory for all contracts to be executed by all Ministries and Agencies to pass the Due Process tests,” he said.
The SSA on Due Process commended the environment Commissioner and his team for their commitment in making sure that every project undertaken by their ministry was done within the confines of the financial regulations of the state.
He stated that his office will soon embark on a performance review of all government projects in the state in order to ensure compliance to quality standards.
The Due Process man emphasized that the era of MDAs engaging in unregulated projects exceeding their thresholds and bypassing the necessary due process procedures, was gone for good.
According to him, such practices had in the past led to financial wastages and misappropriation of government funds, orchestrated by individuals with fraudulent intentions against the state.
Dr Chukwu, who is Abia’s due process czar, outlined the stringent procedures which every project must pass through in order to have Due Process stamp of approval.
He said that the process normally starts with the Ministry’s Tenders Board conducting preliminary checks on projects and contractors, followed by the issuance of a Certificate Of No Objection to successful contractors.
The Due Process enforcer outlined the procedures thus: “For any Project to be executed in the state, the Ministry’s Tenders Board, after publishing adverts for bids, will conduct all necessary pre-qualification preliminary checks of the Project and the Contractors.
“(The Board) will forward the details of the successful Contractor to Due Process Office, who will at that stage, issue a Certificate Of No Objection to the successful Contractor.
“For Capital projects above the threshold of each Ministry, the Due Process Office will forward the Contract documents to the State Finance and General Purpose Committee (F&GPC), who, after satisfactory checks, will issue a recommendation letter to the Due Process Office.
“The Due Process Office then prepares the Due Process Compliance Certificate in company with the Recommendation Letter from F&GPC, which will be forwarded to the State Executive Council through the State F&GPC, and receives approval from them, before sending it back to the MDA.
“The MDA then forwards it to the Ministry of Justice for vetting, agreement, and other official actions. The contract documents will finally be brought back to the Due Process Office, who issues the Due Process Certificate, authenticating that required steps were taken in line with approved standards”.
He said that following the directive of the state governor, the Due Process office has started building a Data Bank of all government Registered Contractors in the state and urged Ministries executing projects in the state to liaise with the Due Process Office for easy assessment.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Environment had expressed the commitment of his ministry to adhere to the state government’s approved guidelines and standards in contract awards and other formalities.
Ogbonna lauded Dr. Chukwu for his guidance on current contract award trends, assuring him that the Ministry of Environment would always comply with the required procedures.