NWA – $84.5 million lost on road project due to lack of oversight

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Auditor General's Findings

The Auditor General’s Annual Report for the financial year ended March 31, 2010 highlighted concerns regarding the National Works Agency’s (NWA) management of Discretionary Waivers granted to a road works contractor. The report indicated that NWA did not provide us with any evidence to confirm that a contractor received 2 million litres of fuel, for which discretionary waivers of $34.75 million were granted.

We conducted an audit to examine the extent to which NWA established an effective monitoring system to ensure that usage of the fuel is in accordance with pre-set guidelines. The NWA did not establish an effective system to monitor and control the usage of fuel imported under special waivers, as stipulated in the letters of approval from the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service. The NWA indicated that it did not implement a formal system to monitor the fuel used by the contractor.

NWA’s failure to implement an appropriate system to monitor the use of fuel was exacerbated by its failure to maintain records for the delivery of fuel to the contractor. Consequently, the NWA did not present evidence to account for 6.5 million litres of fuel that were imported under waivers.

This represents $84.5 million in taxes and duties that were waived. The letters of approval (granting the waivers) issued by the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service (MOF) were open ended and neither included the quantity of fuel to be imported under the waivers, nor an expiry date.

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Permanent Secretary (current): Audrey Sewell

Breach Category: Governance

Permanent Secretary (at breach):

Breach Type: Unapproved or Undocumented Policies and Procedures

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