Govt Recalls Controversial Engineers List

GOVERNMENT has scrapped the controversial list of preferred consulting engineers, that was purportedly drawn up by the works ministry, deeming it discriminatory.

This comes after the Association of Consulting Engineers of Namibia (ACEN) complained that the list of 33 engineers was questionable and excluded the majority of its members.

The ministry of urban and rural development and the ministry of works and transport distanced themselves from the list and called for it to be ignored.

The Namibian has learned that the list was compiled by a ministry of works official, who was not acting on instruction from any of his superiors. The said official then forwarded the list to another official at the urban development ministry, who in turn presented it to permanent secretary Nghidinua Daniel as if it was officially compiled by the works ministry.

The Namibian has seen memos from Daniel and works permanent secretary Peter Mwatile recalling the list and calling for all government agencies, regional and local authorities to ignore it.

Government was kicked into action after ACEN complained and questioned the criteria used to compile the list. The association continued by questioning how government could appoint engineering firms which are not registered as Namibian entities meaning they are not registered to pay tax.

The ministry of works recalled the list four days after ACEN held a meeting on 23 April, because 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 with the Registrar of Companies. Many entities on the list do not employ engineers 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.

Source : The Namibian