Health Ministry asked to recover MVR 500k paid in excess

The Audit Office has instructed the Health Ministry to recover MVR 517,915 that was issued to purchase Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

The Health Ministry was directed to recover the money in the 2020 Compliance Audit Report prepared by the Audit Office amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The report states that a contract was signed with a private company on March 9, 2020, to purchase and supply PPE within a week. The total value of the items was MVR 8.9 million. Some of the items were delivered on April 9, a month later than the agreed period. The Health Ministry paid MVR 4.5 million for the items in September 2020.

Items handed over after the deadline:

100,450 Shoe cover
55,800 gowns
100,450 Headcovers

The audit report said that some of the items were handed over after the deadline, and part of the total amount should be deducted as liquidated damages as per the Public Finance Act. As the ministry had not deducted the amount, the supplier received an additional MVR 517,915, the report noted.

The report further noted that 44,450 gowns of other brands that were supplied had not been accepted by the ministry, but the total cost of the goods was paid to the supplier by the ministry.

The audit report ordered the recovery of the additional amount paid to the supplier. If the money is not received from the supplier, action will be taken against the employees who were neglectful in the matter, and the amount has to be recovered from the employees, the report instructed.