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Contractors to be registered afresh

By By Francis Ayieko | January 24th 2013

By Francis Ayieko

All contractors will be registered afresh from next week in a move aimed at bringing sanity in the building and construction industry.

The National Construction Authority, the body established recently under the National Construction Authority Act to oversee and coordinate the development of the construction industry, says it is going to vet all contractors and evaluate their capacities before issuing them with new operation licences.

“We want to bring discipline in the sector by first having a new, clean register of contractors,” says Daniel Manduku, the executive director of the National Construction Authority.

The registration will be done during compulsory training seminars organised for contractors by the authority. The countrywide seminars kick off on January 31 and will go on for more than a  week in major towns like Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakuru and Eldoret.

Own register

Registration of contractors has been fragmented, with each government agency maintaining its own register.

This lack of centralised registration has created a situation where non-performing contractors and those barred in one ministry or institution, can migrate and actively tender for projects in other ministries and institutions on account of multiple registrations or change of legal status.

Lack of a centralised regulation and registration mechanism for contractors has also seen the proliferation of contractors with little or no capacity to undertake construction works.

The activities of non-performing contractors, popularly referred to as cowboy contractors, have resulted in collapsing buildings due to poor workmanship and non-compliance with specifications, often causing loss of life, poorly constructed infrastructure and delayed completion of works, leading to project cost overruns and stalled projections, often referred to as white elephants.

Manduku says this will soon be a thing of the past: “We are now the only body mandated with registering contractors. We are going to have a code of conduct.”

The National Construction Authority is mandated to scrutinise the contractor’s list of registration from the ministry of public works to weed out contractors who are not properly registered.

 It is also mandated to monitor the construction process, including private properties as detailed in the physical planning act currently being implemented by the local authorities.

The authority will be in charge of registering all contractors after thorough scrutiny to ensure they have the required capacity.

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