Extra payments for project not known

Focus, Normal

AT a meeting of the Provincial Supply and Tenders Board on Dec 16, 2003, a contract was awarded to SPA Limited for the construction of Brandi Secondary School hall
The tender price was K640,754 but the actual payment to the company was K632,065.
For unknown reasons, two additional payments were found to have been made for the same project – K78,330, was paid to Westco Ltd and K38,445 to the receiver of public monies, the Department of Works, totalling K116,776.
Total payment for the project was therefore, K748,841. 
The provincial administrator confirmed to the PAC that the increase in the tender value was not referred to the Provincial Supply and Tenders Board as required by sections 39 and 40 of the Public Finances (Management) Act.
The PAC said: “Staff at the Auditor-General’s office inspected the construction site and reported that the school hall was not in use due to poor engineering and because construction work had not been completed.
“Once again, this committee finds that the K748,841 has been spent on construction, however, the project was incomplete and could not be used.
“The provincial administration failed to ensure that the contracts were properly managed and that payments were processed upon satisfactory completion of the work.
“The trustees also failed to ensure that contracts were properly carried out and satisfactorily completed before payment was made.
“The Finance Department failed to do anything at all to require or ensure compliance with law.
“The provincial administrator has advised the committee that the Works manager will authorise/ undertake a full investigation into the project ‘in due course’.  The committee is not optimistic that anything will be achieved in this regard.”