The installation of Transparency and Accountability Boards (TABS) in all sub project communities is another innovation introduced by GSOP/LIPW in 2015 after four (4) years of project implementation. The main objective of the use of TABS in the community is to ensure that information on the subproject is made accessible and visible to the public. Mostly, the board is mounted in central places where it will connect larger audience in the beneficiary community.
The TAB displays the subproject name, the name of the Contractor if it is on contract, contract sum, Start and end date of the subproject, Amount paid to Contractor, Amount paid to labour, Man days to be generated from the subproject, Number of times labour have been paid, The last payment date and amount, The next expected payment date. Most recent timesheet, Unclaimed wages and Hotline numbers for NCO, TRCO and DA. The TAB also has room for community members to place notice of their choice for public consumption,
The contribution of the TABs since its introduction to promote community empowerment, transparency, stakeholder participation, ownership and accountability has been so impressive. For instance, beneficiary community members as well as other players are in the known of expenditure in executing the subproject as per the figures displayed on the TABs and have the right to question their accuracy.
One of such cases occurred in Bole district on Mankuma Chenchere FR PH 2 where a Contractor challenged the district on amount displayed on TAB as payment to Contractor. Upon the Contractor interrogation, one payment which has been approved but yet to be paid had to be deducted from the figure on the TABs to show actual amount paid to him.
In Nakwabi Climate Change site in Sawla Tuna Kalba district, community members questioned the district why amount paid to the district for materials and monitoring is almost twice the amount paid to labour. The district then explained to the community that the community has received only two payments and all materials for the site have been procured hence with the subsequent labour payments over time, amount paid to the district compared to the one paid to labour, would turn out to be less than 5%.
Contractors can no longer deny paying their site supervisors or use non payment of Interim Payment Certificate as an excuse to vacate site. In Chereponi Kpamamba FR in Chereponi district the site supervisor questioned the Contractor as to why his payment has delayed whiles he has been paid so much as evidence on the TAB when it was being updated.
LIPW beneficiaries in subproject communities can confirm and forecast how much to expect when their Daily Attendance Sheet are displayed on the TAB after its publication at the site. On the day of payment if expectations are not met with the wages paid, the underpaid beneficiary have every right to question the CF who submitted the DASH to the DA, the DA who processed the payroll and the PFI who does the cash out payment. A typical example occurred in Sogon Dugout in Nanumba North district where a beneficiary called the district Data Entry Officer and wanted to find out why she received 14 days wages instead of 24 days. Apparently, data on the second DASH for the beneficiary was not inputted. The ten days arrears had to be added on gradually for the subsequent payments to satisfy her.
The hotline numbers displayed on the TABs are also working magic. Community members knows precisely where to direct their complains for prompt redress. For instance if it is a delay payment, they will chose to call NCO and TRCO. If the issue has to do with the Contractor, community will call DA and TRCO. If it is a personal issue, the community would call the DA only. If the issue is about card error, no funds on card, no verification of thumbprint, the affected beneficiary will call TRCO and DA. Such calls using the hotline has made it possible for beneficiaries to insist on the slogan “No roller, No compaction”. Community members would quickly alert DA and TRCO on Contractors who would like to defile this role as it happened on Yakpaba dugout in Saboba district and Nyoung Guma dugout in Karaga district. In this instance, the use of the TABs is contributing to quality delivery at the various LIPW sites.
The use of TABs in LIPW communities is also keeping Contractors on their toes. Where materials and equipment supplied is not up to the required number in the contract document or items supplied are not adequate, community members would call and seek clarification from the DA and TRCO. This has made it possible for at least 90% of Contractors to supply the exact number of items indicated in their document to facilitate the execution of works. Again, if the Contractor takes out some of the equipment away after presenting it to the community as it happened in Tiekasu and Wenchiki dugouts in Chereponi district, the community members reported and those items had to be returned back. Community members called to report a Contractor Supervisor on Kawee Dini feeder road on his bad attitude towards the participants. Upon further investigation by DA and TRCO, the Contractor Supervisor was replaced to allow the beneficiaries to work in a friendly environment.
Cash extortions from beneficiaries by Contractors, PFI and others? Don’t go there at all because once you demand, the community members would definitely call TRCO and report. All 16 reported attempts on cash extortion in the region for 2016 have been prevented successfully when the community members reported using the hotline numbers on the TAB.
All issues with EZWICH card take an average of three weeks to be corrected. If by next payment in the following month the problem is still not resolved, community members would call TRCO and DA and report the PFI right in their presence. To prevent this embarrassment, PFIs like Salaga farmers Cooperative Credit Union, is always well equipped and ready to deliver anytime they are going to effect payments at the site. In effect, the installation of TABs has equally transformed the PFIs for better performance.
It is therefore not surprising at all for GSOP to engage Community Facilitators to manage the TABs in the community and engage a Case Management Assistant at the regional level to receive and assist in redressing all issues emerging from the use of the hotline numbers on the TABs. In the end, since its introduction, TRCO can hold its chest and say, transparency, accounting to the people which is one of the hallmarks of GSOP LIPW delivery, is being fulfilled though the information provided on the TABS for public consumption.
It is therefore imperative that unpatriotic community members should desist from removing items like DASH, Payroll and Cash-out reports posted on the TABs. Community Facilitators should constantly update the TABs with correct figures and all community members should access the information on the TAB and fully utilize it.
Source: GSOP Tamale Regional Coordinating Office