Auditor General's Findings
In 2014 the Auditor General’s Annual Report revealed that the Ministry did not demonstrate that the activities of the procurement committee were in compliance with GOJ Handbook of Public Sector Procurement Procedures. The absence of proper records of the meetings contravenes Section 188.8.131.52 of the GOJ Handbook of Public Sector Procurement Procedures which states, “Proper minutes must be recorded and maintained for each meeting. The guidelines also require that the quorum of the meeting should be predetermined by the Chairman and no meeting shall be properly convened in the absence of this quorum.”
The minutes of a meeting held June 22, 2011 reflected that the Chairperson expressed concerns about the non-attendance of members to meetings. At meetings held on February 29, 2012 and July 31, 2013 only two members were present, and recommendations were made to the National Contracts Commission Sector Committee for approval to purchase goods and services valuing approximately $533 million and $17 million, respectively; despite the quorum being 5 (4 members 1 observer). We were informed that nine persons were appointed to the Procurement Committee; however, the related appointment letters were not presented despite our request.
PREVIOUS POLICY INFRACTIONS
The Auditor General 2011/12 Annual Report listed a number of concerns regarding procurement. Three examples are found below:
- The AuGD was unable to establish whether three contracts amounting to approximately $36.9 million, were awarded in keeping with the procurement guidelines. The MOE failed to present the advertisement, bid documents, tender reports, and procurement minutes.
- The Ministry did not present the relevant Cabinet approvals for the procurement of textbooks from two suppliers, which totalled £1.1 million. Also, the contract for one of the suppliers was not presented.
- The AuGD noted that the Ministry paid $6.2 million for payroll services without a formal contract with the supplier, even though the matter was brought to their attention from 2005.
Permanent Secretary (current): Maureen Dwyer
Breach Category: Procurement & Contract Management
Permanent Secretary (at breach):
Breach Type: Noncompliance with Procurement Guidelines
The auditor general needs to have some charging power to charge people who are ineffective or she needs the power to ask for persons to be fired or refereed to a body that determines if they should be left go. I can’t believe that all of this reporting and then she can’t do nothing with it. We can’t wait on parliament as they are too political. You need professionals to take charge and start holding people accountable.