‘Audit’ criticizes MPW for failing to collect KD 127m from contractors

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KUWAIT CITY, Aug 2: The Audit Bureau criticized the Ministry of Works’ continued failure to collect the sums due to it from contractors as a result of their delay in executing tenders according to the contracts concluded with the ministry. The bureau said in a letter, of which Al-Qabas obtained a copy, that the total amounts owed by 27 companies amounted to 127 million dinars, and criticized the ministry’s failure to collect these amounts after the violation was proven, reports Al-Qabas daily. The bureau indicated that the ministry’s continuation of recording these amounts in the account of the debts owed to the government without deducting them led to infl ated amounts despite the bureau’s previous requests to collect those debts first. The bureau demanded to know the reasons for postponing the collection of fines due for each contract separately, and a statement of the desired goal of the postponement.

In its response to the Diwan letter, the Ministry of Public Works said that the fine was applied in most of the contracts mentioned in the letter and its application was postponed in some of those contracts based on Ministerial Resolution 26 of 2018, and the delay fine is now being applied to these contracts. The source pointed out that the fine in the contracts will be deducted in the final payment certificates being issued for some other contracts, noting that the amounts mentioned in the note represent the indebtedness and not the value of the delay fine.

In turn, the Public Authority for Roads and Land Transport clarified, in its response to the same note, that postponing the application of the fine is a discretionary authority for the employer according to the circumstances of each case separately, provided that dues or guarantees are available to the contractor with the ministry. The authority indicated that the reason for postponing the fine is to provide liquidity to the contractor and to ensure that the project does not falter and delay. The authority stated that some contracts have no scope for applying the delay fine in their regard, given the issuance of an extension for them after the date of contractual completion until the date of initial receipt.

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