This article will shed lights on the un-lawful activities that the International Labour Organization (ILO) involved since they operated in Somaliland.
The article will focus on the ILO’s notorious dealings and fraudulent contracts in the JPLG buildings and road constructions, the ILO’s operational methods and staffing processes. The Role of ILO in the Joint Program of Local Governments (JPLG) There have been five UN agencies involved in this joint program; namely the UNCDF, UNDP, UNCEF and the UN Habitat and ILO.
Each of these agencies has clear role in this program however the role of the ILO in this program is not yet clear.
ILO is believed to be a UN agency dedicated to labour related issues. It was expected for ILO to tackle and resolve the higher levels of the un-employment in this country; and closely work with the relevant institutions such as the Ministry of Labour and Social Development which they had never worked with.
Nevertheless, the actual role of the ILO in Somaliland is very different from that; and that’s what this article would try to implicitly elaborate.
The role ILO takes in this program is supervision, capacity building for the local governments, and design and feasibility studies of the infrastructure projects of the program which is very different from what ILO supposed to do. The infrastructure projects include buildings of schools, health posts, roads and local government offices.
Since 2014 ILO were using repetitive tools for capacity building for the local governments. The government institutions are well equipped now to takeover, but ILO always forces its own way for the benefit of their staff in Nairobi. ILO co-implements these projects in a fraudulent way in which they benefit for the Nairobi based team and several officials in Somaliland.
The biggest concern remains in the feasibility studies of these projects and the way they are procured.
The procurement processed of these projects are assumed to be managed by the local governments, however the whole process is controlled by the ILO in indirect way. It’s very simple, ILO solely prepares the feasibility study of the projects and the tender documents for the local governments to advertise.
This gives the ILO team to decide the project’s cost (sealing price) which is kept secret until the opening of the bid. Before the bids are opened ILO staff leak the sealing price information of the projects to pre-selected contractor who is intended to implement the project.
The great question in this process remains in the rules of the tender used for these projects. The rules of the tender process only considers the closest bidder to the sealing price which is kept secret by the ILO engineers to benefit for the contractor they want. Therefore, the technical aspect of the evaluation is completely ignored, and the qualification of the experience and the financial aspect of the competition are also dismissed.
Finally, the value for money for these projects are completely lost which means the cheapest and best quality bidders are not even selected. The criteria used is certified by neither any international tender document nor that of the government of Somaliland.
Its obviously well designed fraudulent tender system that gives opportunity to only those who have the right information of the sealing price.
The sealing price is decidedly controlled by the ILO officer in Hargeisa and their engineers who directly report to their counterpart in Nairobi. ILO Staff in Somaliland ILO has recruited the minimal staff as they employed only one person as representative officer for the whole country.
They also employed number of engineers but in a tricky way. They negotiate with their partner institutions such as the ministries and the government agencies to propose staff members who are actually pay-rolled government staff. The government officials probably propose their loved ones for the posts without any competition.
Then ILO allocates great amount of money for these members as salaries who are mainly the engineers implementing the above mentioned disastrous and corrupted projects. These engineers prepare the baseline studies of the projects, feasibility studies and the bill of quantities of the projects.
They produce the sealing price which they never share even with their government institutions.
They only report to their mastermind, the powerful man in Nairobi Mr Roble Mohamed from Mugadishu Somalia.
The real concern in this way of recruitment is that such process is completely against the law of the UN. Because, the UN funds are not allowed to be used as salaries for payrolled government staff. This also contradicts to the nature and the purpose of existence of the ILO which is supposed to be tackling labor related problems.
ILO is supposed to help this country to initiate and employ effective policies for tackling un-employment and improving labor well beings. In contrast ILO is breaching both the laws of the UN and that of Somaliland since they are exploiting government staff in this way.
The other issue that is worthy to be raised is that donor’s funds are being miss used in such fraudulent way. The JPLG program has number of donors who might not be aware that their tax payer’s money is causing more problems for the Somaliland systems.
Evidently, the JPLG program implementing UN agencies where suggested to reduce and employ new consultants for the second phase of the program, however ILO continued employing their trusted engineers as local consultants rather than employing new ones.
This is the reason they want to continue their dirty jobs. There have been number of complaints from the local contractors relating to the exploitive behavior of the ILO and their engineers.
There have also been scandals relating to projects awarded to councilors from the local governments with the help of the ILO staff. And finally, ILO were banned from operating in Somaliland in 2019. The president delegated the issue for four ministers who concluded that ILO’s acts are unbearable and banned them to operate in Somaliland. However, ILO has lobbied to come back and paid all efforts to reinstate their fraudulent practices in Somaliland which they have unfortunately won.
The question here is how long they will continue for breaching in such way? The institutions of the government of Somaliland particularly the anticorruption agency should look this case more closely.
Similarly the JPLG donors should employ independent agencies who would investigate ILOs activities in Somaliland.
This article will continue enlightening the unlawful activities that ILO involves. The next script will provide elaborative evidences such as names, incidents, individual cases and projects.
By Abdi Hassan Waqooyi