Rented quarantine accommodation lacked documentation to verify selection


MINISTRY of Health and Medical Services have no supporting documentation to verify why particular properties had been selected as quarantine centres.

The audit report released by the Office of the Auditor General stated this.  

“In the case of properties rented for quarantine accommodation there is a lack of supporting documentation to verify why particular properties had been selected as quarantine centres which met the ‘liveable condition’ requirement as designated by the World Health Organisation,” the OAG report said.

Additionally the Office of the Auditor General could not verify if suppliers were selected because they have established accounts with them as described in the Procurement & Contract Administration Manual 2013 (PCAM), or for some other reason.

The report says Ministry responses and information in bid waiver applications indicate that officers have asserted that suppliers or contractors have the technical and financial capacity to carry out required task in the short period of time, but the OAG was not provided with any supporting documentation to justify this assessment, or analysis of their financial and technical capacity.

In many cases, vendors appeared to be selected by a single officer with no documentation of the reason for the decision. There was generally no supporting documentation provided to know if the Ministry had enquired with other suppliers or contractors before picking the preferred one the report stated.

Further to that OAG said the health Ministry also advised that procurement related to COVID19 activities was informed by the procurement guidelines issued by Ministry of Finance and Treasury (MoFT) and that financial matter are informed by the Public Financial Management Act 2013 (PFMA) and the Financial Instructions. Instead of a competitive selection process, the key control in the procurement process became consideration of the bid waiver application by Central Tender Board.

“Other controls are the authorities and delegation of duties to the PS, Accountant General and other accounting officers that are involved in the process. OAG notes that in many cases these authorities and delegations were exercised after the fact of the procurement.

The failure to document reasons for selecting a single supplier meant that decision-making before work started or goods were delivered was invisible, so one-one may be held accountable for those decisions,” the OAG report said.

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