Leribe District Council in mismanagement of funds
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A 2019 financial year Audit report has uncovered irregular contracts of six companies that violated procurement regulations and nine others that were paid without proof of service delivery.
The Acting Auditor-General Besetsa said the district council had mismanaged a combined M14 million for services not rendered and contracting companies in violation of procurement regulations.
The Acting Auditor-General reflected the mismanaged funds in her Audit Report on the consolidated financial statements of the government of Lesotho for the year ended March 31, 2019.
Besetsa said Leribe District Council irregularly contracted six suppliers for work amounting to M5, 723, 861.90 without tendering in contravention of Public Procurement Regulation of 2007 schedule 1 1 (C).
She said the regulations clearly provide that “for goods and services above M100, 000.00, the open tender method of procurement should be applied”.
Besetsa further notes that the Leribe District Council Secretary whose name she did not disclose had a pending suspension case due to the tendering irregularity.
In her audit report, Besetsa notes a heightened risk of engaging incompetent contractors if open tendering and proper procurement procedures are not followed.
She further notes that the authenticity of M9,651, 599.89 paid to nine suppliers by the council without evaluation reports indicating whether maintenance and repair service of the council’s vehicles had actually been rendered and to the required standard cannot be ascertained.
“If there is no proof of services delivery, there will not be future reference in case incompetent suppliers tender for others jobs.
“Also, there is no way to avoid sub-standard work and fruitless expenditure,” Besetsa states.
Besetsa’s Office has recommended the council to fast-track on-going investigation to find out whether payments were made for the services actually rendered and ensure that there are contract evaluation reports.
Over and above the non-tendering of works above threshold and payments made without proof of service delivery, the Leribe District councils is also in trouble over doubtful payment of wages after paying M352, 362.00 to laborers at the council without proper substantiation.
Besetsa notes “Leribe council provided incomplete documentation from community councils with no proof of amount received by an individual laborer, no signature of a laborer acknowledging receipt of cash or cheque and the amount received”.
She says there is a risk that wages might have been paid to the wrong people as there was no proof that the paid labourers have actually worked for stipulated days.