Construction of health ministry head office delayed nearly a year since contract awarded, Audit Office finds

-contractor advanced $71M

Up to August, the Audit Office found that construction of the new head office of the health ministry had been delayed. (Audit Office photo)

Almost a year after the contract was signed, the construction of the new head office for the Public Health Ministry is at a standstill despite an advance payment of $71.365 million, the 2017 Auditor General’s report states.

“At the time of the physical verification on 13 August 2018, nine months after the signing of the contract, only piles for the foundation of the building have been driven at the site… In addition, only two workers were seen on site despite the fact that the works were significantly behind schedule. Also, only one piece of equipment was noted and there was no material present, even though the contractor had received the advance payment …,” the report, which was presented to the National Assembly last Thursday, stated.

This newspaper did not observe any major changes during a visit to the site yesterday.

In examining the ministry’s accounts, the Audit Office said that included in the amount of $164.198 million allocated for reconstruction of ministry’s head office is an amount of $71.365 million, which represents payment for a contract awarded in the sum of $365.487 million by the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board for the first phase of construction works…..

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