An audit inspection which was carried out at the above Police Station had indicated instances of weaknesses and shortcomings in the planning and execution of the projects which were implemented at the station. These weaknesses had resulted in unproductive expenditures as the objectives which underpinned those expenditures were not achieved. Such instances are indicated below:
(a) The construction design of the Police Station in 2004 included a fuel-point facility for the station vehicles. Although there is an infrastructure for such a facility it has never been operationalised as the oil company approached, as I understand it, declined to supply fuel on the grounds that it would not be economical to do so. The implication is that the expenditure in the construction and acquisition of assets (shelter and paving) relative to the facility had been worthless.
(b) The upgrading of the sewerage system was initially awarded to a contractor in the sum of P1 539 707 for a period of 4 months from February 2010 to June 2010. The contractor did not, however, commence the work, for some inexplicable reason, until December 2011 with a new scheduled completion date of October 2012 (10 months) on a revised project design. A subsequent progress inspection by the Department of Building and Engineering Services had identified a number of defects in the construction works. There was evidently tardiness in attending to the defects.
In view of the continued lack of progress on the project, the contractor was terminated in September 2014, when a total of P1 931 921 had already been paid to him. In the event, the contractor challenged the termination, and the matter was referred to the Dispute Arbitration Board. At the time of writing this report, I was not aware of progress made in the matter.
It is now 6 years since the initial award of the contract in 2010, and the project still remains far from complete. It is a matter for concern that it is commonplace that the implementation of Government projects always experience time-overruns, with resultant considerable costs to the public revenues.
(c) Sometime in 2011 a lime softening machine was purchased which functioned for a very short time and stopped. My inquiries had revealed that there had not been any follow-up with the supplier, nor attempt otherwise made to bring the machine to functionality.
The fact of this machine standing dysfunctional for so long, in my view, raises the question of whether the expenditure on the purchase was necessitated by real need. I addressed the above matters to the Accounting Officer in September 2015, but despite the seriousness of the issues raised, I had still not received her comments at the time of writing this report.
The Auditor General