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Nov 26, 2009

Audit team confirm irregularities in K.H.M.H. supply purchases

Story PictureThe inquiry is seeking to determine whether any fraud or improprieties occurred in the procedures and processes for procurements during the eighteen month period. The audit team, which included Wayne Simon, Mark Jones, Charles Flowers, Randolph Young, and Arlington Frazer took three months to review the files at the K.H.M.H. They confirmed the suspicions of the doctors and found that major irregularities occurred at the K.H.M.H.

Wayne Simon
“In four instances the contracted unit price exceeded the tender committees recommended unit price although the brand of both were the same. Issues of product quality in respect of items contracted by the Ministry of Health were brought to light and substantiated by formal complaints lodged by health officials in respect of IV giving sets. The tenders committee recommended the use of Baxter Brand. However, the C.E.O. in the Ministry of Health contracted suppliers that provided the Neomedic, UK and Ro-med from Holland brand in 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 respectively. No evidence was provided to substantiate that contracts for the procurement of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies were forwarded to the Contractor General’s office for review as mandated by section 18 (2) of the Finance and Audit Reform Act. If you go into that act, it will spell out the details.”

Adolph Lucas, Chair, Commission of Inquiry
“But before you go further, who had that duty to take that contract for review by the Contractor General. I’m speaking now the KHMH or the C.E.O. for Ministry of Health?”

Wayne Simon
“The ministry of Health should have forwarded the contracts to the Contractor General for reviews. We noted that there was no budget covering the period April 08 to March 09. The Director of Finance said when he began working for the hospital, he was working from a spreadsheet; yes that’s an excel spreadsheet. During the period January 08 to June 09, the hospital spent some $1,258,858.41 on pharmaceuticals and medical supplies. Now the company that received the most of that expenditure was De la Fuente and they received $227,362.63 and Pharmabis International, they got $102,172.01. There were many instances where the hospital could have waited for the requisition items instead of purchasing on the retail market. There were also cases of where the hospital paid high prices for items that were tendered at minimal prices. Purchases of $599,558.95 represented approximately fourteen percent of the total amount actually received in pharmaceuticals and medical supplies were made. A total of twenty-seven percent of these purchases were from Pharmabis International, a company affiliated with an individual employed at the K.H.M.H. In other instances, business was seen transacted between K.H.M.H. and individuals employed at the K.H.M.H. This was considered inappropriate. In other words, you’re finding that for the sixteen months prior to the elections, they did certain things and in the sixteen months after more or less some of the same things that they did with employees and things like that.”

Adolph Lucas
“Do the players change; the first group and the second group in terms of the personnel of K.H.M.H. that you are conducting business with in the first…”

Wayne Simon
“Yeah it changed, it changed; they were different people.”

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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