11 June 2007

JKR To Tighten Grip On Contractors

KUALA LUMPUR, June 11 (Bernama) - In the wake of a series of minor defects in government buildings recently, the Public Works Department (JKR) will set up a Building Surveyors Division to inspect the condition of all buildings after completion.

In issuing the directive Monday, Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said in addition, a new central department would be formed at the ministry to ensure high standards in maintenance, while penalties in the form of surcharges would be imposed on contractors who shirked their duties.

Elaborating on the Building Surveyors Division, he said its role would be to detect any defect.

"It (the division) will also ensure the maintenance and streamlining of high standards for construction supervision," he said when opening a workshop on the new government delivery system organized by his ministry here.

He also directed the JKR and all agencies within the ministry to draw up implementing charts when giving a project to a contractor.

"If the task or required parcel of work is not completed within the stipulated period and according to the quality expected, the contractor is surcharged immediately.

"There is therefore an urgent need to tighten quality assurance, standards including enhancing monitoring and supervisory roles," he said.

Samy Vellu also called for a revamp of the ministry's Complaints Unit. "This unit must become more pro-active in making itself available to the ordinary citizens thereby documenting accurately their complaints and effectively resolving their grievances," he said.

He said by managing public complaints and giving reliable and accurate replies, it would enhance the ministry's profile with civil society groups.

Samy Vellu said also said it was important for the JKR to deploy the right people especially those with the competency, expertise, experience, information, brainpower and commitment to oversee the implementation of projects.

"In a similar way, a step-by-step approach to effectively monitor all the infrastructure projects that are being undertaken is critical," he said.

Samy Vellu said critical self assessment and peer group appraisals were necessary to keep relevant officials alert on their professional and technical outputs.

"Effective tracking and feedback systems must be developed. Multiple sources of information both formal and informal must be tapped from all the stakeholders," he said.

He also suggested that trouble shooting teams be established to undertake spot checks and analysis to ensure quality control, while internal audits must assess both effective and efficient use of resources.

"A stricter compliance system must be developed for contractors and sub-contractors with specific references to infrastructure weaknesses due to shoddy work and fulfilling standard requirements," he said.


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