Thursday, February 27, 2020
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Cases of malpractices in the public procurement sector dominate the Controller and Auditor General (CAG) Report for the Financial Year 2017/2018, with blatant misdeeds ranging from payments for ghost projects and works which were not executed as per contracts, causing huge financial losses to the government.

According to the report, which was released recently, one such payment was effected by National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) whose cash books and payment vouchers showed that 2.16bn/- was paid to the service providers, but the audit confirmed the payment to have not been received by the beneficiaries while a payee of 350.87m/- could not be traced and another of 42.6m/- could not be found due to closure of their business although, curiously enough,  the payments were confirmed to have been received from bank by four NHIF staff.

“I recommend that relevant authority take appropriate actions against the members of the staff involved in the suspected fraud,” the CAG said.

The report also implicates the National Electoral Commission (NEC) in a case of overpayment to a service provider amounting to $148,243.73; as well as in a case of $358,650 being paid to another service provider for work which was not done.

Apparently, when the entity procured the Biometric Voters Registration (BVR) machines, it paid the service provider $72.30 million instead of $72.15 million indicated in the contract and, while it paid a consultant the said amount to train its staff, the training was not conducted.

The report further reveals that 5,000 out of the 8,000 machines procured, did not meet specifications and that this resulted in a loss amounting to 862.08 m/-.

Another severe misdeed pointed out by the CAG is double payment as exemplified by the construction of Songwe International Airport, whereby double payment of 1.43bn/- was fraudulently perpetrated by the Tanzania Aviation Authority’s officials. Also 5.48bn/- was paid without certification from the consulting engineer, while 570.50m/- was paid above costs approved by the consulting engineer.

“I call upon the Government to take legal and disciplinary action against officials involved in fraudulent actions,” said CAG, Professor Mussa Assad, when he spoke to the press last week.

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