Discrepancy Between Performance & Actual Expenditure at Public Works Ministry
Monrovia – A summary report on the General Auditing Commission report of the Ministry of Public works for the year 2010-2013 has held the Ministry liable of discrepancy between performance and actual expenditure per budget (Roads and Bridges) and Non-Provision of delivery notes and invoices.
The GAC report has also accused the Ministry of increment in the Bopolu to Belle Yallah road project cost. The report also holds the MPW for the lack of performance guarantee, where contracts were awarded using single source procurement methods and increment in the cost of the Tuzon and Gbarblor towns’ road Project.
The GAC report of the Ministry also claimed that unspecified cost noted on the BOQ of the Sanniquellie to Tiayee Feeder Road Project and contracts awarded to non-bidder and discrepancies noted in the resettlement Action plan where structures were paid for but not demolished involving a disputed RAP payment.
The GAC in its recommendation called for the comptroller, Abraham Samukai to provide substantive justification for the variance of US$ 13,391,713.47 between MPW performance report and the actual expenditure reported in the National Budget for the period 2010/2011.
In response to the GAC claims, the Public Works Ministry 2010/2011 budget performance report submitted to the GAC shows that amount of US$11,224,305.53 (even Million two hundred twenty four, three hundred five united states dollars fifty three cents) was earmarked for roads and bridges under the core budget.
In further response, Mr. Samukai said, signed payroll for casual workers in the amount of US$201, 2085. The Ministry of Public works submitted to the original delivery notes to the ministry of Finance and Development planning along with vouchers before payment was made.
“However copies of the delivery can be traced on documents previously submitted to GAC during the first three fiscal years audit that are still in the office given the GAC during the audit.
It is important to note that the decision to request sole source for specific project is made by the members of the procurement committee,” Samukai said in his response.
In other part of the report, the GAC is recommending that former Deputy Public Works Minister for Technical services, Victor B. Smith provide substantive justification for issuing “letter to Proceed” to PEALAT Construction Company in violation of section 65, subsection 1 of the PPCA for the extra work at a cost of US$5,114,954.54 on the Bopolu-Belle Yallah road.
In response to the GAC report Smith said, in as much as this may sound true on paper, it represents an ideal case where the Ministry of MPW has all the necessary well trained highway, geotechnical, structural, environment engineers and trained inspectors along with all the necessary tool to conduct the study and envelop a full project documents for implementation.
Three fiscal years, 2009/2010-2011/2012 was reviewed by the GAC. A copy was given the President and those concerned. The finding of the report was in the interest of the MPW administration.
Subsequently and upon receipt of the report, the President officially mandated the GAC to perform another audit of the MPW, this time procurement and financial audit in the same month the first report was completed.
The MDFP told GAC that all payments processed by the accounting services unit (ASU) are subject to compliance check. These payments are reviewed to ensure that Public Financial management (PFM) regulations governing transaction are met.
In the ministry’s statement, it said, the payment of vouchers for goods and services are supported by relevant documents such as delivery notes; invoices logs etc.
Henry Jarmo (0886522495) [email protected]