CMU – Sub-Optimal Concessionaire Arrangements

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Auditor General's Findings

In 2019, the Auditor General’s Department (AuGD) conducted a Special Audit on the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU). The audit found that CMU frequently utilized the direct contracting and direct contracting emergency methodologies, which offered the least assurance that economic value was obtained.

CMU also executed contracts without any contract agreement for the procurement of goods and services.

For example, the audit revealed that concessionaire arrangements at CMU were not transparent. CMU engaged four concessionaires, to provide lunches for students, staff and visitors at its Maritime Campus. It was unclear what informed the design of each contract, since the terms differed.

All the contracts were not secured through competitive tender, though this is required by the GOJ Procurement Act and guidelines. The AuGD’s review of the contracts suggested favourable terms and conditions for ‘Concessionaire-1’, when compared to the others. The assessment revealed that Concessionaire-1 continued to operate although the contract had expired for over two and a half years.

Further, the terms of the expired contract of Concessionnaire-1, which guided the current arrangement, required no payment of rent, although CMU provided all the facilities and equipment needed, as well as, paid the cost of garbage disposal and utilities. It was not evident that CMU conducted a feasibility analysis to ensure optimal benefits to the university were derived from the concessionaire arrangements.

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Permanent Secretary (current): Maureen Dwyer

Breach Category: Procurement & Contract Management

Permanent Secretary (at breach): Grace McLean

Breach Type: Poor procurement planning

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