Nov 15, 2022 News
Kaieteur News – The Audit Office of Guyana has found that over $52 million were overpaid to contractors by Ministries and Regional Offices in 2021.
According to the AG report for 2021, a total of 411 contracts were examined with respect to the Ministries and Regions and overpayments amounting to $52.996M were made on measured works on thirty seven contracts administered by the Ministries and Regional Offices in 2021.
The Ministries in question were able to recover $14.853M while $38.143M was recovered by the Regional Offices with $21.046M still outstanding for four projects in Regions 7, 9 and 10.
As it relates to the award of contracts, the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) for Region Nine stood out. That RDC awarded eight contracts totaling $106.830M to a contractor who is currently blacklisted until 2030 by the Public Procurement Commission (PPC) of Guyana.
During the period under review, contracts for the re-construction of the Imbaimadai Police Station in Region Seven was valued at $25,993,710, the construction of a Primary school at Waramadong, Region Seven valued at $33.006M and the Rehabilitation of Lola Street, Cane Grove, East Coast Demerara (ECD) valued at $24,898M were all terminated due to poor performance by the Contractor (s).
Additionally, at the time of reporting, there were also 162 cheques totalling $623.404M were still in the possession of the Ministries and Agencies. The cheques should have been refunded to the Consolidated Fund in accordance with Section 43 of the Fiscal Management and Accountability (FMA) Act.
Further, the Auditor General reported that five Ministries and four Regional Offices also had cheques on hand that should have been refunded to the Consolidated Fund as at 31 December 2021, and the necessary adjustments made to the Appropriation Accounts.
“In this regard, 162 cheques totaling $623.403M were still on hand. Of this sum, fifty-nine cheques totaling $351.129M were in relation to Ministries and Departments, while the remaining 103 totaling $272.275M were in relation to Region Nos. one, five, eight and ten,” the Report added
Added to this, the Report outlined that some 665 payment vouchers totaling $3.061 billion were not presented for audit, resulting in the limitation of the scope of the audit. Six hundred and fifty-six totaling $3.050 billion were in respect of three Ministries, while nine valued $10.470M was in respect of the Region No. 3. As a result, it could not be ascertained whether value was received for the sums involved, and whether the funds were used for the purposes intended.
The Report noted that a number of Ministries, Departments and Regions continued to clear cheque order vouchers long after the stipulated time frame. In addition, at the time of reporting in September, 1,120 cheque orders totalling $2.528 billion remained outstanding.
Of the sum currently outstanding, 737 cheque orders totaling $1.929 billion were in relation to 2021, while the remaining 383 totaling $598.880M were in relation to prior periods. As a result, the auditors could not determine whether the value was received for all sums expended.
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