Health Ministry disrupt partner agency’s operations

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By Itumeleng Koleile

An Audit of the Lesotho Millennium Development Agency has discovered how the Health Ministry has been obstructing the agency’s operations by fiddling in tendering process and omitting information.

Detailed in the report of the auditor general on the consolidated financial statements of the government of Lesotho for the year ended March 31, 2019, Acting Auditor General Monica Besetsa uncovered the Ministry of Health meddled with health tasks it had transferred to the agency.

Ministry of health and the agency has a memorandum of understanding to establish a collaborative approach among the parties as the key government role players in ensuring achievement of key objectives on health care facilities maintenance in Lesotho.

The Ministry agreed to work with the agency to plan and provide guidance on the program maintenance based on their strategic priorities and grant access to health care facilities at all times.

However, in her report, Besetsa says on the contrary “it was noted that ministry of health obstructs the agency’s mandate yet it is the main player in provision of health services”.

Besetsa discovered that the agency planned to roll out catering services for Quthing, Qacha’s Nek, Thaba-Tseka, and Mokhotlong districts.

However, Besetsa says during the procurement process the ministry, before awarding of contracts, instructed the agency to discard Machabeng hospital, in Qacha’s Nek under Lot 7 stating that the ministry has already engaged a service provider.

Besetsa also notes that the ministry should have informed the agency of on-going contracts during their planning meetings to avoid duplication of efforts.

This, Besetsa says after the discovery that upon awarding a catering contract to Ken Con Catering for catering services at the Mokhotlong Hospital and St. Peter Health Clinic there was a court order withdrawing the contract on account that the ministry had already awarded the contract to Rhythm and Blues Catering.

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