JEDDAH: Arab News
Published — Sunday 23 June 2013
Last update 28 June 2013 7:14 pm
Nazaha, the National Anti-Corruption Commission, discovered 460 faltering health projects in the Kingdom. The body called on the Ministry of Health to open investigations and take necessary action against the perpetrators.
Nazaha urged the ministry to inform them about its intended procedures in this regard. It urged the completion of the projects so that all citizens can benefit from the health centers’ services across the Kingdom, saying that the weak performance of the Health Affairs Administrations had led to a delay in implementing these projects.
The commission found that work was stopped in 420 health centers. Two national companies signed a contract worth SR 1.47 billion to implement these centers.
Another contract worth SR 1.5 billion was signed with three national companies to build 440 health centers. Seven years have passed since the signing of the first contract and only 276 centers were built. The second project only built 124 centers, after six years of the contract’s signing.
The commission observed that the technical cadres of the consulting company were weak and inefficient; they only had a few engineers spread across the various health administrations in the Kingdom. They didn’t have field offices at the project sites to directly supervise the operations. The ministry follows up on these centers.
It said health administrations could have directly followed up the work process with the contractor and the consultancy company, within its administrational fields and could have provided engineers to their areas. Their absence and the ministry’s continued alterations to the centers’ models, standards and regulations after signing the contracts, led to delaying the projects.
Implementing companies were forced to change the old models with new ones, at the time of withdrawing the projects from the contractors, because of the expiry of their implementation period.
The ministry reduced the number of centers by 125 centers per contract, but they were not able to reclaim the first payment set at 20 percent from contractors. They didn’t invite specialized consultancy firms to redesign the new models, and as a result, work stopped in some centers.
Contracts included furnishing and equipping the centers, which led to the breakdown of some equipment because they were left unprotected for a long time. The equipment cost 30 percent of the total value of the contracts. Nazaha said these contracts should have been awarded to companies specializing in medical and technical businesses.