People behind failed MID $7m project gone: PS Lilia


THE people involved in the controversial $7 million refurbishment and renovation of the Ministry of Infrastructure Development (MID) headquarter have left the ministry.

MID gave this statement in response to Opposition Leader Matthew Wale’s call for the police commissioner to investigate the incomplete project.

MID acting permanent secretary, Alan Lilia told media last Friday the contractor only managed to complete floor-1 and started to work on floor-2 when the workers left.

He adds that MID is engaging a contractor to continue work on the second floor.

Lilia, who just joined MID, said the people involved in the work from 2015-2017 including the permanent secretary, directors and staff have left the ministry.

However, Wale urged the Police Commissioner to immediately investigate these payments to see where they lead.

“These kinds of abuse of the procurements; payments systems are only possible with collusion by key public officers in MID and Treasury. Investigation must be carried out to determine why $7M was paid for an unfinished job, and why no due diligence was carried out from the finance ministry.

“Furthermore, there are also claims that certain officials the MID also benefited from the $7M. This too must be looked into. Everyone responsible must be held to account” Wale emphasised.

The Leader of Opposition stressed that the Police Commissioner must act with urgency as these abuses are becoming more common within Government ministries and departments.

“There are also reports that a leaf house project that was paid for more than 200,000 to be built at the MID is still incomplete,” the Opposition Leader said.

“Others highlight immoral dealings in the architecture department creating ghost companies for their own benefit and even officials within the vehicle-hiring department providing personal vehicles for hiring. These are all very concerning.”

Wale concluded that the MID needs a major clean up.

“Firstly, people who are involved in fraudulent acts must be removed. Second, the public service recruitment process must be free from political interference.

“People coming into the public service must not be people merely handpicked by politicians,” he said.

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