APNU+AFC gov’t paid $145M on Leguan Stelling repairs, but works were not done

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The 2019 report of the Auditor General (AG) has found that the former APNU+AFC government made payments in excess of $145M for works on the Leguan stelling, but the works were not done.

Moreover, as of January 2020, payments totalling $199.4M were made on the contract, which was awarded in September 2018 in the sum of $413.2M.

However, an undated and unsigned valuation, purportedly prepared by a consultant and submitted for audit by the Transport and Harbours Department stated that the actual value of works completed on site was $53M, the report noted.

Auditor General Deodat Sharma in his report said that his office’s estimated value of works completed as of August 2020 was $50.9M.

At the time of reporting in November 2020, the works were still in progress, even though the estimated completion date was over one year ago.

“It should be noted that the Audit Office is conducting a special investigation on this Project,” the report noted.

Altogether, the sum of $685M was allotted for the completion of Leguan and Bartica Stellings and the rehabilitation of Parika Stelling.

The full sum was disbursed to the Transport and Harbours Department (T&HD).

“According to records examined from T&HD, amounts totalling $637.479M were expended, leaving a balance of $47.521M, which was still in T&HD’s Bank Account,” the report noted.

The said balance should have been returned and surrendered to the Consolidated Fund in keeping with Section 43 of the Fiscal Management and Accountability Act 2003.

This also resulted in the Appropriation Account of the Ministry being overstated by $47.521M.

The Auditor General said the Head of Budget Agency stated the two payments were made to the value of $2.463M and $22.600M respectively for contracts dated 31 December 2019, these two payments were made early in 2020.

The remaining balance of $22.458M being outstanding payments for the same contracts.

The moneys were not refunded due to the on-going status of the works.

In turn, The Audit Office recommended that the Head of the Budget Agency ensures full compliance with Section 43 of the FMA Act.

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