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Sep 14, 2018

Audit Reveals More than $200,000 of Fuel Purchased from an Unauthorized Vendor

The misuse of government resources has been a recurring public complaint under both administrations. In the Auditor General’s Report for the period April 2013 to March 2014, the audit team lends some of its focus on the issuance of fuel for the use of Government vehicles and equipment, specifically in the Ministry of Works. As News Five’s Hipolito Novelo found out, more than two hundred thousand dollars’ worth of fuel was purchased from an unauthorized vendor.

 

Hipolito Novelo, Reporting

Chapter four of the Auditor General’s Report for the period April 2013 to March 2014 looks at the audit’s findings in ministries and departments. A section of the report focuses on the Ministry of Works, specifically the usage of fuel. The audit team set out to determine whether the Ministry issued fuel only to government vehicles and equipment and did so in accordance to the Government Stores Orders and the Financial Orders.

The audit looked at the period from April 2009 and April 2012, revealing that more than two hundred and eighty-four thousand dollars worth of fuel were purchased from an unauthorized vendor:  Shanghai Service Station in Belmopan. According to the audit, the Finance Officer stated that they were authorized to get fuel only from Shell Gas Station in Belmopan. But the audit team did not to get any explanation as to why fuel was purchased from Shanghai Service Station when the authorized supplier is Shell.

The report also points out to inconsistencies in the maintenance of vehicle log books which were not properly filled out. The odometer readings were not recorded upon departure or return or when fueling. There were also instances where the invoice numbers were not recorded. The audit team also noted inconsistencies in the preparations of fuel orders and the lack of records to verify the series of fuel order books that the Ministry of Works received.

Vehicles were also being fueled during the weekends but according to the report, the audit team could not find any records that indicated that the vehicles were being fueled for legitimate weekend duties. The report reminds government employees that government vehicles shall not be used for private purposes except if given proper authority to do so. Reporting for News Five, I am Hipolito Novelo.

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