USF – $881.1 million was released to E-Learning pilot projects without reports submitted to justify payment of funds

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Auditor General's Findings

The USF’s policy stipulates that project beneficiaries should submit monthly progress reports at both the project implementation and post implementation phases. The project implementation reports, along with USF’s own assessment, should form the basis for disbursements under the projects. The USF did not faithfully enforce this requirement.

Of the 88 project files reviewed, we identified only 5 cases in which disbursement was informed by a report. Project officers are also required to carry out site visits at the proposed centres and provide reports indicating whether or not the site infrastructures are suitable to support the execution of the projects, as conditionality for disbursement. It appears that USF did not faithfully undertake site visits, as we identified that project officers had not performed inspection of 24 of 88 centres.

The AuGD report indicated that “they found no evidence of project beneficiaries’ progress reports or USF monitoring of the projects under the E-Learning programme.” The USF had no system in place to monitor the programme to determine whether targets are being met and value was received for money disbursed. There is no evidence that USF requested progress reports from the implementing agency – E-Learning Jamaica.
Note: For the financial years 2013-14 to 2014-15, USF disbursed $881.1 million to E-Learning pilot projects, representing 47.7 per cent of the total project disbursements over the two years.

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Permanent Secretary (current): Carol Palmer

Breach Category: Project Management

Permanent Secretary (at breach): Hillary Alexander

Breach Type: Lack of Evidence to Support Decisions

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