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Audit report reveals…

WARDC flouts procurement procedures

October 12, 2016 By Ibrahim Tarawallie

The recently published Auditor General’s report on the procurement activities in selected public sector entities has revealed how procurement procedures were flouted at the Western Area Rural District Council (WARDC).

The report which is before the house of parliament stated that procurement procedures were not followed for the award of consultancy contracts, and that a series of contracts for public works, valued at Le2, 233,968,000 were awarded without compliance to procurement procedures.

It cited documents like request for quotation, evaluation reports, contract agreements and terms of reference for consultancy contracts worth Le785, 740,000, which were not maintained by the council.

“We found irregularities in both the selection and disqualification processes used to award a series of public works contracts amounting in the aggregate to over Le700 million. We found contracts awarded to suppliers who neither had a license nor provided proof of having the equipment to carry out the work,” the report stated.

Also, the report indicated that disqualification of some bidders seemed somewhat arbitrary, citing a case were a certain  bidder was disqualified for not providing accurate bid security, while the other was not disqualified at the technical evaluation stage despite failing to provide evidence of possessing equipment critical to doing the work.

“Other similar instances were also noted and in many cases the disqualified bid was lower than the successful one. Instances were noted where a contract was awarded despite the absence of a license certificate or evidence of equipment to carry out the work,” the report said.

According to the report, there was clear evidence of a lack of procurement planning, citing the award of a contract for the rehabilitation of staff quarters, which was not properly planned, contrary to Section 29(1) of the PPA.

In their official response, the council said the three bidders purchased the standard bidding documents but in the final analysis, the one that submitted the bid was the most responsive for evaluation.

However, the auditors stated that in many respects on some issues, the comments from the council were non-responsive and that the audit observations therefore remained unresolved.

“For example, we were unable to confirm replacement of damaged furniture because a delivery note to support management’s claim of replacement was not submitted,” the auditors said.