The effect of technical auditing on construction projects performance in District Assemblies

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November, 2015
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The objective of clients in undertaking construction projects is that needs and expectations for which substantial resources are committed will be fully met. Clients achieve this objective when projects are completed on time, within budget and meet the needs and expectations of clients as initially specified. These objectives are not always achieved. In 2012, 34% of projects executed were successful (on time, within budget and according to original specifications), 15% failed (abandoned or terminated) while 44% were challenged (completed, over budget, over time and with fewer features). To restore client confidence and justify the resources invested in project planning and execution, audits (financial and technical) have been introduced. Presently in Ghana, all publicly funded construction projects in District Assemblies require that a regulatory financial audit be carried out by the Office of the Auditor General. These financial audits have been effective in serving as a control mechanism against over-payment for work done and payment for works yet to be executed as well as the enforcement of laid down accounting principles in record keeping, payment for work done and the seeking of approval for the use of reserved funds. In spite of these benefits, project performance has left much to be desired as financial audits have focused mainly on budget neglecting quality requirements and work schedules. This study sought to examine the effects that the mandatory introduction and implementation of technical auditing would have on project performance in District Assemblies. The objectives of the study were to investigate the effects that technical auditing would have on construction project performance and ascertain the capacity of District Assembly staff to perform technical auditing functions. The need to generalize findings informed the choice to use the quantitative approach with a survey questionnaire been used in collecting data after a literature review had placed the study in its historical perspective. The study identified that the introduction and implementation of technical auditing on construction projects would enhance project management processes, reinforce professionalism in the construction industry and enable the independent assessment of project performance. Technical audits were also found to enhance accountability and credibility in the construction industry thereby increasing clients’ confidence of obtaining value for money invested. The study also established that over seventy percent of the staff of District Assemblies have the capacity to perform technical audits on construction projects. With majority of the staff having knowledge of technical auditing, its benefits would be derived when introduced and implemented as part of the conditions of contract for construction projects. The provision of logistics and personnel to resource the Department of Works in the Assembly would equip the Department to carry out its duties effectively.
A Thesis submitted to the Department of Building Technology, College of Art and Built Environment in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Construction Management, 2015