OAG found unregistered businesses given contracts


THE Office of the Audit General had found in its audit of three government ministries in their use of the covid-19 funds that some businesses which were not registered were given contracts.

This was mentioned in the thematic audit report on COVID-19 related procurement in a State of Public Emergency by three ministries, Ministry of Health and Medical Services, Ministry of Infrastructure and Development and National Disaster Management office, Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Disaster Management and Meteorology.

According to the thematic audit report on COVID-19 the Procurement and Contract Administration Manual (PCAM)  requires tender submissions will only be accepted for businesses which are registered. ‘Tenderers should be a registered company, a registered business name or a Registered Charitable Organisation in order to be considered for SIG Tenders.” (PCAM S4.8)

“However, there is no requirement for businesses which do not go through a tender process to be so registered and in these audits, OAG found some businesses which were not registered had been given contracts and as had some others which had previously been registered but no longer were,” the report stated.

The report says Part 6 of Public Finance Management (Procurement) Regulations   PFMR 2021 provides standards for Government procurement practice, ‘regardless of the method of procurement used.’ This Part also provides a series of schedules to outline the standards for various types of procurement.

These schedules each provide that appropriate specifications should be prepared and businesses should be registered. PFMR 2021 does not widen the requirement for conflict-of-interest declarations beyond those involved in Tender Evaluation Boards, the report said.

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