Montserrat working to comply as DFID Suspends funding for A1 Road Improvement Project

BRADES, Montserrat – Officials from the Public Works Department says they are working to comply with the requests from the Department for International Development for more information on the A1 Road Improvement Project.

DFID on Friday announced that they have suspended further funding for the A1 Road Improvement Project in the absence of a clear plan of action from the Government of Montserrat.

DFID Programme Representative Kato Kimbugwe said they have “just completed an annual review of the project with particular emphasis on its management and implementation. DFID have consistently asked for a detailed program outlining activities and timelines to completion. This has not been forthcoming and the chaotic nature of the implementation does not give us confidence that the project is delivering as planned. Equally, it is difficult to argue that the project is demonstrating value for money let alone meeting the needs of the Montserratian public.”

Ron Beardsley, Director of PWD said they are presently working to bolster the management supervision of the road programme and will shortly complete negotiations with a project manager in order that the work can resume. He added that the lack of aggregate on island has been an on-going challenge and they are presently awaiting the arrival of materials from abroad.

“DFID are aware of the challenges that the project has faced with regard to the material supply. Nevertheless with better planning these problems could have been foreseen and the implementation programme adjusted accordingly. We are suspending any further financial contribution to the project until such a time as Government of Montserrat produces an implementation plan that clearly demonstrates an effective management framework to deliver original project objectives,” a release from the funding group stated.

A total of 23.1 million EC dollars was earmarked for the project to improve the main road and culverts from Salem to St. John. Kimbugwe said the lack of proper reporting on the project has meant that they cannot accurately account for how much of the money has already been spent for road works.