Engineers Unhappy With Govt

CONSULTING engineers in the country are up in arms after discovering a government list allegedly created to elbow them out of government work.

Government compiled a list of ’33 preferred consulting engineers’ to exclusively get all government contracts.

Documents in The Namibian’s possession show that the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development issued a circular to all regional councils and local authorities, which included the list of 33 firms and instructed the regional and local authorities to choose from the list the consulting engineers they preferred to work with.

Permanent secretary Nghidinua Daniel issued the letter on 16 April, instructing the councils to recommend the preferred consulting engineers before 30 April to the ministry.

The Association of Consulting Engineers of Namibia (ACEN) held a meeting on 23 April, after the majority of its members complained about the list. ACEN bargains with government on how much engineers should charge, so that they all charge similar fees for their work. ACEN has more than 50 consulting engineers registered as members in Namibia.

A preliminary investigation was launched and it was discovered that only about four entities on the list are ACEN members. Only 12 names on the list of 33 are registered entities with the Registrar of Companies. Many entities on the list do not employ egineers registered with the Engineering Council of Namibia. It was also discovered that the owners and main engineers at three of the entities on the list are only registered as engineers-in-training with the Engineering Council of Namibia.

The Namibian has learned that at the said meeting engineers also complained that a host of entities on the list of 33 are foreign registered.

ACEN executive officer Rico Viljoen, confirmed the meeting and said that a letter was written to the ministry and the regional councils to address the concerns.

Permanent secretary Daniel said that the issue was raised with his office, even though it was the ministry of works that compiled the list. He added that after taking it up with the works ministry, it was decided that the list will be withdrawn. Daniel said that a notice will also be issued to regional councils and local authorities to withdraw the list for the discrepancies to be discussed.

Source : The Namibian