Government lawyers support international pro-bono work
Wednesday April 20th, 2016
Two of GLD’s procurement law experts have recently returned from Rwanda where they delivered contract management training to government officials on a pro bono basis.
The training aims to improve contract management and reduce the loss of public money arising from delays due to poor quality government contracts and contract management processes.
According to the Rwanda Report of the Auditor General, for the year ending June 2014 78 contracts worth an equivalent of £117.2 million were not completed within the contract period. Furthermore, of these, 14 projects worth the equivalent of £3.1 million were abandoned after paying £1.7 million to contractors. Ifeoma Nwabude and Lillian Arinze, both from GLD’s Commercial Law Group were invited to provide the training, in December 2015. This followed the development of contract management tools, including a contract management handbook that is seen by the government of Rwanda as a key mechanism to help reduce unnecessary losses of public funds. This is part of a wider government-led initiative supported by the DFID-funded Legal Assistance for Economic Reform (LASER).
Although figures are not yet available to demonstrate the impact of the contract management intervention, a LASER survey has revealed that more than 50% of surveyed legal officers are reporting stronger contract management processes as a result of initiative.
Isabelle Kalihangabo, the Permanent Secretary and Solicitor General at the Rwandan Ministry of Justice, who opened the full day workshop, expressed her appreciation for the support of Ifeoma and Lillian.
Legal and procurement officers from across a number of ministries attended the workshop. The government of Rwanda’s long-term objective is to build internal capacity so that they will deliver the training without external support in the future.
She said: “LASER has helped us by dedicating a permanent member of staff and finding pro bono trainers and helping training”.
She also encouraged the participants to give the training their full attention by saying that “it’s not every day you have UK experts to learn from”.
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