Overpaid $ 200M for government contracts – RE report
Kaieteur News – Details from the Auditor General’s 2019 Report show that about $ 199.381M has been overpaid by A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU + AFC) for four major government projects.
According to the report, these overpayments occurred under four ministries, namely the Ministry of Finance (MoF), the Ministry of Public Telecommunications (MoPT), the Guyana Defense Force (GDF) and the Department of Transport and Harbors (T&HD) in 2019 Against this, the report stated, “Included in the $ 199.381M are sums totaling $ 145M and $ 25.529M, overpaid in the rehabilitation of Leguan Stelling, and the expansion of offices at Civil Defense Commission (CDC) Headquarters. respectively. “
In relation to the construction of St Rose High School, two advance payments totaling $ 81.869M were made to the contractor, Courtney Benn Contracting Services Limited, although no substantial works had been completed. When the People / Civic Progressive Party (PPP / C) came into force, the Attorney General terminated this contract on the basis of the contractor failing to comply with his contractual obligations.
Further, in the report it was recalled that a contract had been awarded on 31 December 2019 by the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB) for the construction of a High School in Yarrowkabra, Linden Highway in the amount of $ 827.756M. It was noted that a request to the Secretary of Finance for multi-year approval was seen dated December 31, 2019, the same date the contract was awarded. The contractor was paid a $ 26.041M mobilization advance on January 7, 2020. But this contract has since been terminated.
Meanwhile, the report noted that the Ministry of Public Telecommunications had approved an advance payment of $ 17.171M and a provisional payment of $ 31.829M, on the same date, for renovations and functional improvements to a Call Center Building in Linden, Region 10 Concerned, the contract between the Ministry and the contractor was signed a day after approval of the advance and provisional payments.
Capital works charged to current expenditure
According to the report, payments totaling $ 67.473M were made for capital works but were charged to current expenditure, thereby violating the Fiscal Management Accountability Act. He added that seven such payments totaling $ 54.358M, representing approximately 81 percent, were made under the Ministry of Public Infrastructure.
Negligent supervisory consultants
The report stated that several instances were identified where Supervisory Consultants failed to administer contracts in the best interest of the Ministries / Departments. Specifically: The MoPT contracted full payment to an engineering firm for design and oversight services for functional renovation and improvement to a Call Center Building in Linden, Region 10. However, the audit office physical check on September 4, 2020 revealed that there was no representative from the onsite consultant to oversee the work.
“Furthermore, the rooflights installed did not meet the specifications in the contract, while the already paid $ 16.249M materials were not on site,” he said.
The report continued, “In respect of the construction of the Ministry of Finance New Annex Building, an advance payment of $ 64.55M was made to the contractor in 2017. At December 31, 2019, $ 26.506M out of the $ 64.55M had not to recover still. . Furthermore, the Bond provided for this remaining balance has expired since 30 December 2019. ”
Furthermore, the PE Office noted that “the Ministry of Public Health has engaged a consultant to provide oversight services for the construction of Phase One of the Head Office Building. He noted that all valuations for payment had been prepared without any analysis of the works being paid at the time. “Instead, only a summary sheet with the amounts paid has been prepared and submitted by the consultant recommending payment to the contractor. In addition, it was noted that payments totaling $ 26.408M were being made as lump sums for variation works which, as a result, could not be quantified and quantified. “
Finally, the AG office noted that the supervisory consultants employed by the GDF and MoF for oversight services for office expansion at CDC, and the construction of the MoF New Annex Building, respectively, prepared and recommended full payments in many cases for work that had not been completed by the contractors at the time.