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During 2008, forty six of the 235 works contracts monitored by the Office of the Contractor General (OCG) were impacted by variations which resulted in cost overruns in excess of $3.14 billion.
According to the 22nd Annual Report of the OCG, tabled in the House of Representatives last Tuesday (September 22), the overruns represented approximately 16 per cent of the total monetary value of all the works contracts endorsed by the National Contracts Commission (NCC) in 2008.
The OCG noted, however, that a number of Government Agencies have been making “significant efforts and initiatives” to address the issue of cost overruns, and to contain the attendant costs which are ultimately shouldered by the Jamaican taxpayer.
“The OCG encourages these positive actions, but notes that any corrective effort would have to be uniformly and consistently applied by all stakeholders, to support the imperative of effectively cauterising this spectre of cost overrun,” the report added.
According to the OCG, addressing the problem in a comprehensive way would demand the aggressive and proactive efforts of all stakeholders, who play a role in ultimately facilitating the administration and execution of Government contracts.
“This would include actionable efforts and initiatives from the Government, through its Cabinet, its Parliamentary Secretaries Group and the Ministry of Works, to facilitate the implementation and enforcement of the requisite corrective measures and monitoring mechanisms that are urgently needed to cost effectively govern the planning, execution and management of Government works contract,” the report added.

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