The Ministry of Infrastructure Development (MID) says the renovation project for its headquarters is still incomplete. Acting Permanent Secretary, Mr. Allan Lilia in a press conference confirmed to journalists that renovation work on the Ministry’s Headquarter is incomplete. The $7m in general came about from questions raised by the Opposition Leader, Mr. Matthew Wale. Wale earlier in March called for the investigation into the $7m renovation project inlight of the still in-complete state of the MID Headquarters. He said reports reaching his office highlighted that SBD$7m was paid out to a contractor for the full renovation of the MID headquarters in 2016. He said a subsequent contract given out to complete the renovation only finished part of the second floor. In the Press Conference, Lilia confirmed the claims made by the Office of the Opposition Leader but do not have much information on the issues surrounding the $7m in general.
Lilia said work have re-commenced on the renovation of the MID Headquarters by a different contractor with new funds.
But Opposition Leader, Matthew Wale in his statement said he wants the Police Commissioner to immediately investigate the $7m pay out and where it leads to.
“These kinds of abuse of the procurements; payments systems are only possible with collusion by key public officers in MID and Treasury. Investigation must be carried out to determine why $7M was paid for an unfinished job, and why no due diligence was carried out from the finance ministry. “Furthermore, there are also claims that certain officials the MID also benefited from the $7M. This too must be looked into. Everyone responsible must be held to account” Wale emphasized. The Leader of Opposition stressed that the Police Commissioner must act with urgency as these abuses are becoming more common within Government ministries and departments.
“There are also reports that a leaf house project that was paid for more than 200,000 to be built at the MID is still incomplete,” the Opposition Leader said.
“Others highlight immoral dealings in the architecture department creating ghost companies for their own benefit and even officials within the vehicle-hiring department providing personal vehicles for hiring. These are all very concerning.” Wale concluded that the MID needs a major clean up.
“Firstly, people who are involved in fraudulent acts must be removed. Second, the public service recruitment process must be free from political interference.
People coming into the public service must not be people merely handpicked by politicians,” he said.
With Office of the Leader of Opposition