Airport Deal: Igg Faults Caa Team

Airport deal: igg faults caa team
Appeared in The Daily Monitoron 25 Jul 2019

A new report by the Inspector General of Government (IGG) has faulted the management of Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on the mismanagement of a multi-billion deal for the expansion of Entebbe International Airport.

The same IGG report has, however, cleared the former CAA Managing Director, Dr Rama Makuza, and accounting officer of any wrongdoing in the award of the airport contract to China Communications Construction Company Ltd, a Chinese company.

The whistleblowers had in a petition to IGG accused Dr Makuza of acting irregularly when he wrote a letter to the procurement manager of CAA indicating availability of the funds for procurement of a contractor for the four sub-projects undertaken to clear the site for the major works.

But the IGG indicates: “This was found to be untrue as CAA did not have any funds for those sub-contracts,” the May 24 IGG report reads in part.

The whistleblowers had also claimed that the management of CAA failed to put in place consultants to supervise the ongoing works on the expansion of the airport.

However, the report read: “CAA was not to blame for delays to employ a consultant as there was several applications for administrative reviews made to the Accounting Officer, the PPDA and the PPDA Appeals Tribunal by bidders, who were challenging the procurement process.”

The report from a two-year investigation is titled: “Alleged Mismanagement of Civil Aviation Authority by the Management.”

This, according to the IGG, slowed down the process of procuring a consultant yet an agreement had already been signed with the contractor and the funds had been secured for the project.

CAA team faulted

Contractors. The IGG report shows that two supplementary contracts were entered into and both of them were found to favour the contractor and eliminated any opportunity to get an independent opinion to guide CAA on works on the main project.

“In a feasibility report prepared by the contractor, the total amount for the project was $324.4m. This was split into two phases of $200m and $124.4m, respectively.

However, on signing the preliminary agreement, the amount for both phases was raised to $325m giving a difference of $521,000 without any justification,” reads the report.

The report further indicates that CAA signed a contract with China Communication Construction Company (CCCCL) for expansion of Entebbe International Airport before they cleared the site of encumbrances which resulted into execution of four sub-projects which CAA had not planned and budgeted for.

The report shows that the agreement between CAA and CCCCL allowing the contractor to clear the site of the encumbrances and be paid later flouted the rules for lack of competition.

“The contract price for all the five sub-projects is Shs10,997,211,013 while the estimated cost price of the same five sub-projects given by M/s Stanfield Property Partners is Shs7,216,211,013. The actual payments that is the contract price was higher by Shs3,781,194,445, according to the independent private valuer.

Therefore, CCCCL overpriced the five sub-projects since CAA did not subject the sub-projects to competition,” reads the report.

UCAA Manager for Public Affairs, Mr Vianney M. Luggya yesterday said the upgrade and expansion of EIA is in two phases.