MHMS without documents for $4.7m Multi-purpose hall works


MINISTRY of Health and Medical Services has not provided any documentation to support the contractor that refurbished the Multipurpose Hall into an Isolation Ward for $4.7 million.

The Office of the Auditor General found this in its compliance audit released on Wednesday.

“For example, the refurbishment of the Multipurpose Hall into an Isolation Ward was contracted at a cost of $4.7 million but there was no documentation supporting the selection of the specific vendor chosen to do the refurbishment.

“The first documentation  available for this project was a letter from the vendor on 5 October advising a contract price and also indicating that work was well underway,” OAG states.

“This means that work was started even before a contract price was established.

“Three weeks later on 26 October 2020, PS MHMS indicated to the Oversight Committee that this refurbishment work was 95% complete, but a Purchase Requisition was not signed until 20 November 2020,” OAG report states.

“Neither the availability of this contract nor its award was publicly advertised.

“The procedure used to select vendors in non-competitive procurement is also not documented and neither is the reasoning for individual selection decisions,” OAG report states.

Furthermore, OAG obtained some transaction documentation held by MHMS but this was not complete.

“There was no compliance check list and no funds transfer advice.

“The Scope of Works Schedule provided held by the Ministry was an illegible copy but did seem brief for a complex refit project,” report states.

OAG was not provided with any documentation related to a bid waiver submission.

“Urgency of work was mentioned on the request letter there was no other supporting documentation and no approved bid waiver.

“A memorandum dated 6th October 2020 was sighted that mentioned specifications, drawing, scope of works, and costing, but the Ministry was not able to provide these documents,” OAG said.

Apart from that, another payment was a total value of $1,190,000 for motor vehicles was also missing original documentation from Ministry of Finance and Treasury.

OAG said there was no justification for the number of vehicles.

“The Bid Waiver, PR and Payment Voucher referred to eight vehicles but this was reduced by the Accountant General to four.

“There is no clarification or supporting documentation for either initial number of vehicles or the reasoning for reducing the number of vehicles,” OAG said.

“Although the bid waiver application was completed, significant controls such as compliance checklist has not been completed by MoFT.

“No contract agreement or award letter was provided,” OAG said.

Further to that, OAG said the decisions around these procurements were significant.

“Inadequate documentation of decisions and missing original documents is a failure by the Ministry to secure original documentation and maintain evidence of the implementation of internal controls.

“Inability to provide the OAG with full documentation to review transactions also indicates a major failure of accountability,” OAG said.

The OAG conducted this audit in accordance with International Standards for Supreme Audit Institutions (ISSAI) namely the ISSAI 400: Compliance Audit Principles and ISSAI 4000: Compliance Audit Standard issued by the International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI).

The objective of the audit was also to assess whether the Ministry’s procurement for disaster relief complied with required procedures, and in accordance with the principles of transparency, accountability and inclusiveness. These procedures included the Public Financial Management Act (PFMA), the Financial Instructions (FIs) and the Solomon Islands Government Procurement and Contract Manual 2013 (PCAM).

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