The only way that fraud and corruption in the built environment can effectively be addressed, according to the Association of South African Quantity Surveyors (ASAQS), is when the right mix of professionals is appointed during the tender phase.
“The appointment of a quantity surveyor to calculate and oversee projects should not be an afterthought only when the budget allows it,” warns Larry Feinberg, executive director of the ASAQS. “In fact, we strongly recommend that the appointment of a professional quantity surveyor becomes part of the legislated tender process.”
Feinberg explains that a quantity surveyor acts as the construction industry’s financial consultant by managing all the financials during the project lifespan, including producing monthly payment certificates, progress reports, cash flows and more.
Able to act as procurement, tender evaluation and construction cost control specialists thanks to their qualifications and experience, quantity surveyors can identify deviations from original tenders in terms of both scope and pricing. As such, they act as the client’s watchdog.
“Professional quantity surveyors are also bound by a code of conduct,” adds Feinberg. “If they are found to have contravened the code, they will lose their licence to practise.”
Scarce, but unused skills
“Quantity surveyors are third on the Government Scarce Skills list, but still not enough of them are recruited into the Department of Public Works, local municipalities and key organs of government,” says Feinberg. “This has an adverse effect on infrastructure delivery and project budgets.
“Quantity surveyors are willing and able to curb fraud and corruption, but they can only do so if they are appointed at the right time and place.”
The Association of South African Quantity Surveyors
Tel: 011 315 4140
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