Commission Intervention Attracts Assistance for Nawaeb Secondary School

The Ombudsman Commission’s intervention into an issue between a contractor and the Nawaeb District Development Authority has resulted in the fast-tracking of projects at the Nawaeb Secondary School and has drawn the attention and support of both the Morobe Provincial Government and Morobe Provincial Administration to help the school prepare for its first intake of Grade 11 students.

The issue involved the contractor, a local company, who raised a complaint with the Ombudsman Commission, alleging that the Nawaeb DDA was unlawfully withholding a balance of K540,000 for the construction of staff houses for the newly-accredited secondary school. 

They contended that the refusal to pay the amount would result in a breach of contract and if the committed money were reallocated it would result in misappropriation of funds.  The total cost of the project was K1.8 million of which K1.2 million was already paid to the contractor. 

However, according to the Ombudsman Commission’s findings and physical inspection of the project it was revealed that the work done at the school was largely incomplete and not at the value of the amount that was already paid.

As the contractor was already engaged by the Nawaeb DDA through the former MP, and as per the contractual agreement between the company and the Nawaeb DDA and the Morobe Provincial Administration, the Ombudsman Commission instructed the Nawaeb DDA and the Morobe Provincial Administrator to do a proper valuation and scoping of the project and work with the contractor to complete the project.

The rescoping of the projects ascertained their value and further revealed the need to include other incomplete projects within the school to be taken up and completed before the school year started.

The other incomplete projects were:

1. The High Schools rural electrification project

2. Furnishing of 2x 4-in-1 Grade 11 classrooms with desks

3. Dormitories (Male and Female) to accommodate Grade 11 enrolments for 2023

The Nawaeb DDA, through the Commission’s intervention, ensured that the contractor completed the staff houses to the value of K1.2 million and also bought 400 desks for the 2023 Grade 11 intakes for K 110,000.00.  The DDA then presented a cheque of K371, 000.00 to the same contractor to construct another staff accommodation, a 1x 3-Bedroom Duplex. 

Thus instead of spending K1.8 million on only one project, the DDA paid less to the same contractor for three current projects. The other projects are still ongoing and the Nawaeb DDA through its Chairman is committed to completing them in a timely manner.

The Nawaeb DDA also made a commitment to build the school’s Administration Building and another three-bedroom staff accommodation as soon as funds are available. The Commission’s intervention also resulted in the school getting assistance from the Morobe Provincial Government and the Morobe Provincial Administration.

Governor Luther Wenge has appropriated K1.3 million for the construction of a 120-bed boys dormitory and 96-bed girls dormitory for the school while the Provincial Administration presented a K200, 000.00 to assist in their infrastructural development.

In gratitude to the Commission the Morobe Provincial Administrator gave the honour to the Chief Ombudsman Richard Pagen to present the K200, 000.00 cheque to the school Chairman on his behalf and as a special tribute to the school which has now finally realized its dream to be a secondary school.

From Left to right Mr Buds Botike District Administrator and CEO for Nawaeb DDA, Chief Ombudsman Mr Richard Pagen and Mr Max Bruten, Morobe Provincial Administrator presenting the K200,000.00 cheque to School Board Chairman Mr Giegeri Wenge. Alongside Mr Wenge are Mr Joseph Molita Secretary to the Commission and Mr Besi Simongi Headmaster for Nawaeb Secondary School.

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