AUDIT ON CONTRACTS
By MOFFAT MAMU
AN audit into all COVID-19 renovation works carried out by various contractors at the quarantine centers will get underway soon when things get back to normal.
The renovation works cost the government close to $13 million, this was revealed by the Supervising Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Infrastructure Development (MID) Jimmy Nuake when he appeared before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) last week.
The committee hearing was held to look at the budget before parliament resumes this week to debate on the 2020 Supplementary Appropriation Bill.
Mr. Nuake told the committee that a total of $13million has been spent for COVID-19 renovation work at GBR, KGVI dormitories, Ex-Telekom hostel, and other centers including the National Referral Hospital.
He said following complaints and a number of allegations raised against the renovations that have been done, a full audit will look at the work being done.
Mr. Nuake said because of many complaints from the public about the quality of work, MID is planning to conduct an audit into the work done by the contractors.
“There’s a plan for an audit once things settle down. We’ll look back at the process and how it’s being done.
“The audit office will help us to look into those allegations,” he said.
Mr. Nuake explained given the urgency to do renovation work based on directions from the oversight committee, the ministry had to select contractors that have good records.
He said under the emergency regulations the ministry was given the go-ahead and a waiver to by-pass the normal tendering process.
“We just select the existing contractors which we have dealings with that have good records.
“We were given five days to start the work and we have to go for a waiver which under the process can be allowed in any emergency situation,” the supervising PS said.
Opposition Leader and PAC member Matthew Wale during the hearing also raised an allegation where a contractor with no carpentry background was also given a contract.
Mr. Nuake assured him some of these allegations will be looked at when the audit gets underway.
It’s understood there have been complaints and concerns about how contracts have been given out to do repair and renovation works at the quarantine centers.
Some of the work done has not been up to standard and was leveled unsatisfactory, it was reported.