Nov 15, 2012 News
Millions of dollars in overpayments to contractors for buildings, roads and bridges construction and poor documentation of projects by Region Eight Administration were highlighted in the Auditor General’s Report 2011.
In the report substantial overpayments, non-execution of projects and poor monitoring were revealed with the Regional Administration blaming poor documentation for the overpayments.
The report stated, “A contract for the repairs to Mahdia Roadway was awarded to the sole bidder in the sum of $4.9M. The works were certified by the Regional Officials as having been satisfactorily completed and the full contract sum was paid to the contractor.
“However, a physical verification of the project revealed that no works were done and as such, the amount of $4.9M paid to the contractor should be recovered in full.”
The Head of Budget Agency responding to Auditor General merely acknowledged the acceptance of the never commenced project as completed as “a lapse, which is regretted and indicated that the works are presently ongoing by the contractor”.
Meanwhile, the Audit Office recommended that the Regional Administration ensures that works are verified as satisfactorily completed before any payments are made.
According to the report, of the $134.040M expended by the Region on maintenance works a contract valuing $2.295M was awarded to repair Kanapang teacher’s quarters. The report said that the full provisional sum was paid to the contractor but no details of the payment were provided. In addition, a physical verification of the project revealed that the works were completed and overpayments totaling $1.618M were made to the contractor.
Meanwhile, a contract for the repairs to revetment at Mahdia Dorms was awarded to a tune of $2.657M. As at 31 December 2011, the full contract sum was paid to the contractor. A verification of the project revealed that the works were completed and overpayments totaling $1.626M were made to the contractor.
The sum of $616,600 was also overpaid to the contractor contracted to repair Kato Cottage Hospital fence. The full contract sum totaling $2.460M was paid to the contractor as at December 31, 2011. And, verifications of the project revealed that works were completed but the contractor was overpaid.
The Head of the Budget Agency acknowledged the overpayments and indicated that efforts are being made to recover the amounts overpaid. Consequently, the Auditor General stressed that the Regional Administration must put systems in place to avoid recurrence.
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