Shoe-string budget – OCG says it is struggling to operate
The Office of the Contractor General (OCG) is reportedly struggling to keep its daily operations going.
Contractor General Dirk Harrison told members of Parliament’s Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC) yesterday that his agency is currently operating on a shoe-string budget and needs more resources to acquire goods, provide services and to train staff.
The approved budget of the OCG for the current financial year is $284.2 million comprising $267 million for recurrent or housekeeping expenditure.
However, the oversight body which monitors an average of one thousand government contracts annually says over the last few years it has been struggling to meet increased rental and maintenance costs and to pay suppliers of goods and services.
Harrison said not all bills are paid on time each month:
Harrison said the rental cost represents 12 per cent of the OCG’s budget.
Stressing that the agency is strapped for cash Harrison said the OCG is in dire need of a greater allocation to meet the requirements for travelling.
He said the agency monitors on a daily basis the acquisition of goods and services and makes regular site visits.
Commenting on legal costs, Harrison said the agency now has a large bill of some $7 million, and arrangements have been made to make this payment on an incremental basis.
The amount reserved for legal services in the OCG’s 2016/2017 budget is $2 million.