Audit unveils LMDA’s corrupt recruitment

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By Itumeleng Koleile

The auditor general’s report for the year ended March 2019 has unveiled irregularities and questionable inconsistencies in hiring some officers at Lesotho Millennium Development Agency for a new mandate that started in 2018 ending in 2023.

The audit report was tabled before the national assembly of Lesotho yesterday by Finance Minister Thabo Sophonea and stands referred to the Public Accounts Committee.

This report on the consolidated financial statements of government of Lesotho penned by Acting Auditor General Monica Besetsa, notes that some incidents indicate an elaborate omission of recruitment policies and guidelines that raised concern on the validity of appointments of some officers within the agency.

The agency is an organisation set by the country under the Millennium Challenge Account-Lesotho Authority Act of 2008 as amended in 2013.

The Agency’s mandate spans from healthcare facilities maintenance, development, and implementation of Compact II and executes its mandate in conjunction with the health ministry.

The recruitment and selection guidelines were developed to ensure the recruitment of high caliber staff, however, the auditor general discovered irregularities that included “lack of evidence indicating an employee had gone for an interview; interview results in her file were for the position awarded to the other candidate”.

Moreover, the report said in another incident, one officer was not awarded a position he applied for although he had passed the oral interview.

It further adds instead, the position was awarded to a candidate who only sat for the written assessment.

The report reads thus not only had “he been irregularly awarded an undeserving position but also he had scored below the set pass mark of 75 percent and scored only 69.9 percent”.

Among other corrupt recruitment practices highlighted by the report within the agency is that favours had been pulled.

“An officer was not successful during an oral interview. However, it appeared that the results were tampered with, as original marks could not be substantiated.

“The officer was not given the opportunity for written assessment, as was the case for other candidates who failed oral interviews,” said Besetsa in the report.

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