AG uncovers ‘massive’ irregularities in new districts

THE former Ministry of Transport, Works and Supply and Communications awarded contracts for infrastructure development in the newly created districts before the sites for the construction were identified and agreed upon. Out of the total claims of K263, 110 submitted by contractors, amounts totalling to K225,110 were paid for works not done, says the report. According to the report of the Auditor General (AG) on the accounts of the Republic for the financial year ended 31st December, 2015, accounting irregularities were discovered relating to the utilisation of money amounting to K286, 117,791 which was released to the ministry on infrastructure development in the new districts. The report disclosed that contracts were awarded before construction sites were identified and agreed upon and that Government was losing huge amounts of resources through penalties in the event of termination of these contracts. The AG’s report noted that the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in their report for the fifth session of the 11th National Assembly stated that some of the contractors on the projects in the new districts lacked capacity to undertake the works and that projects were consequently delayed beyond the contract period. It revealed that the committee urged the controlling officers to ensure that contractors were thoroughly screened to evaluate their capacity to undertake the projects before being engaged. “In their report for the fifth session of the 11th National Assembly, the Public Accounts Committee expressed concern on a number of issues. They found it highly irregular that contracts were awarded before the sites for the construction were identified and agreed upon and was particularly concerned that the Government was losing huge amounts of resources through penalties in the event of termination of these contracts. “The committee further observed that some of the contractors on the projects lacked capacity to undertake the works; consequently, projects were delayed beyond the contract period and in some instances contracts were terminated,” the AG’s report said. The reported further stated that a review of the situation carried out in March 2016 revealed that out of the total claims of K263, 110 submitted by contractors, amounts totalling K225, 110 were paid for works not done.

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