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Ministries given deadline to clarify financials

April 8, 2015 7:17 pm

The Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Agriculture have been given two months to respond to specific questions on issues around procurement of medicines and the recent success rate of Agro-based projects.

The matters relate to the Auditor General’s Reports from 2007 to 2009.

According to the Auditor General’s reports, the Health Ministry wasted close to 3 million dollars on expired drugs.

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Ministry officials appeared before the Public Accounts Committee yesterday.

Committee Chairman Biman Prasad says the issue is cause of concern.

“There’s a big issue about procurement of drugs and the AG has been highlighting this issue for the last 6/7 years, while we are satisfied that Ministry of Health is currently undertaking a re-look at the strategies and re-engineering in the way in which they’re going to deal with the issue, we still have alot of questions.”

Prasad has directed the Ministry to provide details of what their current procurement system is, the monetary value of expired drugs from 2010 to 2014 as well as where the drugs were sourced from.

For Agriculture, the prognosis was almost as dire, the AG reports highlighting a mediocre project success rate of 10 percent.

While the Permanent Secretary Usaia Waibuta explained their restraints, Prasad says, taxpayers are been short changed.

“Obviously he raised concerns about the lack of resources, both in terms of the budgetary allocation, but also in terms of their capacity and ability to deliver services to the farmers in this country and as you heard today from the AG report about 80% to 90% of farmers that are supported by the Ministry of Agriculture don’t eventually make it and that means tax payers are losing a lot of money.”

Other issues highlighted for both the ministries include excessive expenditure from the overpayment of salaries to the payment for incomplete capital works.

The committee is expected to continue with submissions tomorrow.

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