The Quality Assurance Division was initially established as the Road Works Inspectorate (RWI) in 1997 to fulfil a World Bank conditionality in the Development Credit Agreement for funding the reconstruction and strengthening of the Nairobi-Mombasa Road. The Division was established to introduce a system of information flow, quality assurance and quality control.
The then Permanent Secretary issued to detailed policy statement In June 1997 and mandate regarding the operations of the RWI. The official launching of the RWI was done by the Minister of Public Works & Housing on 13th August, 1997 at KIHBT, Nairobi.
In 2005 the RWI unit merged with the then created Building Works Inspectorate (BWI) unit for the buildings sector to constitute the Quality Assurance Department. The department became more independent and was answerable to the Permanent Secretary who is the Accounting officer. The building sector later moved to Ministry of Public Works and the RWI continued to operate as Quality Assurance Division in the then Ministry of Roads.
The Quality Assurance Division became a fully pledged Department of the then Ministry of Roads in March, 2010.
The Quality Assurance Division was established to ensure that resources allocated for road construction, rehabilitation and maintenance are consistently applied to the purposes for which they are intended for and that the use of such resources is efficient and transparent. It was also established to introduce a system of information flow, quality assurance and control.
The strategic objectives of the Quality Assurance Division are as follows:
a) Provide the Ministry management with unbiased information on all infrastructure related activities to enable better decisions to be made and thereby improve general efficiency and cost effectiveness.
b) Give assurance to funding Agencies on the quality of products and soundness on use of the committed public funds.
c) Identify areas where it might be necessary to increase accountability among key players in the sector.
d) Establish statistical data on unit rates.
e) Assist in the efforts by the Ministry to improve on the morale among staff.
f) Provide advice upon request from management on technical and financial matters related to the administration, construction, rehabilitation and maintenance of all roads under the Ministry’s purview.
g) Provide advice to the Ministries on how the Agencies implementing its policies can improve on their modes of delivery based on information gathered from the ground.
Mandate of the Quality Assurance Division: -
The Division has a mandate to undertake technical audits in road projects and they carry out this mandate through;
a) Undertaking technical audits on selected national government roads infrastructure both on new construction and maintenance contracts to determine the quality and cost effectiveness of the work adherence to specifications, completion times and work/design plans the administrative procedures employed and quality of supervision.
b) Undertaking risk assessment and monitoring the extent to which policy directives from the Ministry have been mainstreamed in delivering the road projects.
The Division is guided by the following principles in undertaking Technical Audits:
a) Examination, review and appraise existing procedures and current practices and comment thereon,
b) Performance inspections on on-going activities and reports on compliance with qualitative and quantitative expectations and best practice
c) Advising the management based on cumulative knowledge, expertise and experience on best practice.
The above objectives are pursued in the following manner;
1) Examine and report on procurement practices, employed within the Roads Authorities/Agencies, to award roads construction, rehabilitation and maintenance contracts.
2) Undertake technical audits on selected roads activities, both force account and contract, to determine the quality and cost effectiveness of the work, adherence to specifications and work/design plans, the administrative procedures employed, and quality of supervision.
3) Examine and report on the adherence by Regional and District Roads organizations to agreed work programs and quality and work implementation.
4) Identify impediments to productivity and advice on actions required to improve the efficiency and cost effectiveness of road works undertaken in the country and their management.
5) Prepare an annual report on the Quality Assurance activities.
Operations of the Quality Assurance Division
In exercise of its duties the Quality Assurance Division, with due authority of the Accounting Officer, shall have a free access, upon request, to the following:
(i) Any Ministry Roads office or works site of the Authorities/Agencies.
(ii) Any relevant open, confidential or secret information held in the Ministry’s Headquarters, Regional or County offices, including reviews of contracts and procurement.
(iii) Contractors’ and Consultants’ staff, facilities, books, vouchers, reports and other documents for the purpose of collecting information required for the work of the Quality Assurance Department.
(iv) Test results and, if necessary, testing facilities and equipment through the Materials Branch of the Ministry.