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Sep 7, 2018

Audit Report Reveals Contracts That Were Not Put for Tender

Tabled last week Friday in the House of Representatives was the Report of the Auditor General for the period April 2013 to March 2014. While the purpose of the audit is to form an opinion based on the Financial Statements, it does not identify all possible irregularities.  The Auditor General, Dorothy Bradley, however, points out that the ‘findings in many instances resulted from ‘poor accounting and financial management along with Ministry of Finance’s inability to provide the Accountant General’s Department with suitable and sufficient technical resources. Tonight, News Five’s Hipolito Novelo takes a look at a number of contracts valued a total of close to eight million dollars that did not meet the required procedure for tenders at the Ministry of Works.


Hipolito Novelo, Reporting

The report is two hundred and one pages and tonight we take a look at some of the revelations that are raising eyebrows. On page one hundred, the Auditor General Dorothy Bradley looks at the Ministry of Works and Transport, specifically contracts valued over twenty thousand dollars. In this respect, the audit covered contracts entered into by the Ministry of Works during the period April 2009 to March 2012. The Auditor General’s team was tasked with determining whether all contracts over twenty thousand dollars were tendered before final approval. The team discovered that seven million, nine hundred and sixty-one thousand and seventy-seven dollars worth of contracts were awarded without the tender procedure. The team also identified individual contracts exceeding twenty thousand dollars that did not follow the process.

Between 2009 and 2010 close to three million dollars worth of contracts was awarded which were required to go through the tender process. For example, on September third, 2010, one specific contractor was awarded more than fifty-five thousand dollars in contracts. The figures are broken down into three contracts, one for nineteen thousand nine hundred and eighty-seven dollars, the other for fifteen thousand two hundred, seventeen dollars and forty cents and third for nineteen thousand nine hundred and ninety-three dollars and sixty cents. All of these figures are below the twenty thousand dollars benchmark but interestingly the details of these contracts are the same” “to effect surface dressing in connection with the rehabilitation of section between mile forty-eight to forty-nine on the Western Highway.” The total amounts to more than fifty-five thousand dollars. On July thirty-first, 2009, a contractor was awarded six individual contracts valued a little less than twenty thousand dollars but in total it is valued at more than one hundred and nine thousand dollars. The purpose of all six contracts is the same which is the ‘supplying and transporting of clay material as part of the Belize Rejuvenation Project.

The Auditor General’s team also found out that the amount spent on contracts which failed to go through the tender process for the year 2010/2012 totaled more than one million six hundred thousand dollars. One specific contractor received six contracts each worth less than twenty thousand dollars but cumulatively exceed one hundred thousand dollars and all were for the supply of tires to be used for Cayo, Stann Creek, and Toledo Districts. Four of the contracts were signed on September second, 2010 and the remaining two were signed on June twenty-eight 2010.

In 2011 and 2012, contracts that did not follow the tender process increased significantly according to the audit report. During that period there was a significant increase of more than three point four million dollars, almost double the figure from 2009/2010 and 2010/2011 combined. On February twenty-fourth the Ministry of Works awarded seven contracts to one contractor for works to be done on the San Antonio Road in Orange Walk Town. The seven contracts totaled almost one hundred and eighty thousand dollars. The report goes on to cite several more examples following the same trend. According to the report, close to eight million dollars in contracts which should have gone through the tender process were simply awarded and appear to be quote, “on the decision of the Minister of Works.” The audit team also observed a few single contracts that exceed the twenty thousand dollars limit that were approved by the Minister of Works without going through the tender process. One of these contracts is valued at ninety-nine thousand dollars. Reporting for News Five, I am Hipolito Novelo.


During the period of time that the audit covers, Minister Anthony “Boots” Martinez was at the helm of the Ministry of Works.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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