Director Brian Melairei of the Bureau of Public Works: File Photo

Director of PPUC Brian Melairei  (Photo by Office of the President, Republic of Palau)

“I support the audit of the KASP project,” said Director Brian Melairei, a PPUC Board member when asked about the Senate’s request for audit of the Koror-Airai Sanitation Project.

The Koror-Airai Sanitation Project, a project funded by a $28.8 million dollar loan by Asian Development Bank has taken much longer to complete and had undergone changes lately, causing Senate to call PPUC to oversight hearings and resulting in a request by one of the Senators to Public Auditor to conduct an audit of the project.

In the request, Senator asks for full audit of KASP to include, in addition to standard elements of audit, examination of all “contracts entered into the implementation of KASP.”

Although the project was approved for $28.8 million, the entire $28.8 million has not been withdrawn. “Funds have been withdrawn only for the contracted projects such as the ICB1 which is the Collection Gravity Main from Meketii to Malakal, ICB2 the Force Main from CIP Office to Malakal and ICB3, the Malakal Treatment Plant.”

ICB1 was contracted to contractor PEP, to include the Malakal Treatment Plant.  ICB2 was contracted to contractor Progetti which included the Arkebesang Pump Station.

Airai Sewer Treatment Plant has been taken out due to funding.  According to Melairei, after the first three bids came in, there was not enough funds left for the Airai Sewer Treatment Plant.  He said if funds become available, it maybe reinstated.

The Arkebesang Pump Station was taken out temporarily due to land issue and PPUC is working with landowner for solution.

In the meantime, part of the ICB2 portion of the project (Force Main from CIP to Malakal) is held up in litigation between contractor Projetii and subcontractor Surangel& Sons over contract payment for paving of the road from CIP to Malakal.

“The audit has already started and it’s good for the public to know some of the important details of the project such as contracts,” stated Director Brian Melairei.

(L.N. Reklai)