Govt neglect to pay for police equipment, discloses AG report 

By Staff Reporter

Government has neglected to meet payment terms for the procurement of an automated fingerprint identification machine for Zambia police to a South African supplier, reveals the Auditor General’s report.

According to estimates of revenue and expenditure for the financial year ended December 31st, 2017 indicates that K1, 361, 433, 961 was budgeted for different programmes under the Zambia Police Service.

According to the report of the Auditor General on the accounts for the financial year ended December 31, 2017, K1, 359, 739, 158 was released while K1, 694, 803 was undisbursed.

An examination of the accounting and other related records maintained at the Zambia Police Service headquarters and site visits carried out in selected units from April to July last year disclosed two irregularities.

The report highlights that on October 6th, 2015, the Ministry of Home Affairs engaged Morpho South Africa (Pty) Ltd to supply and deliver an automated fingerprint identification system machine at a contract sum of K29, 141, 688.
The machine, however, was not specified in the contract.

The report states that the procuring entity (Ministry of Home Affairs) would pay 15 per cent of the contract sum, 30 days after signing of the contract against a bank guarantee of the down payment.

“The second installment of 25 per cent would be paid upon the signature of the specifications of the system against presentation of a commercial invoice of the supplier and the third installment of the 30 per cent would be paid upon delivery of the system and the final installment of 30 per cent would be paid upon system acceptance at the installation site,” highlighted the report.

According to the report, a review of the payments made up to July 2018 showed that the Ministry of Home Affairs only managed to pay K3, 800, 000, representing 13 per cent of the contract sum.

“However, there was no indication when the payment terms will be fulfilled for the contractor to supply the equipment, considering the passage of time since the contract was signed. As a result, the Service may not receive the equipment and derive the intended benefits within the planned time,” the report states.

The other grey area highlighted under the Zambia Police is the construction of the paramilitary hostels and guest wing at State Lodge.

On May 29th, 2015, the Ministry of Home Affairs engaged Golden Horse Investment Ltd for the construction of the paramilitary hostels and rehabilitation of the guest wing at State Lodge at a contract sum of K5, 379, 308 with a contract period of 10 months.

The report notes that in June and September 2017, the Ministry of Home Affairs did a variation of works valued at K8, 435, 214, bringing the total contract sum to K13, 814, 523, Value Added Tax (VAT) inclusive, and the completion period was extended to October 2018.
The scope of works included, among others, plumbing, electrical, painting, excavation and block work.
The report adds that as of May last year, Golden Horse Investment Ltd had been paid a total sum of K6, 430, 680, representing 46.5 per cent of the revised contract sum.

“A physical inspection carried out in June 2018 revealed that the contractor used timber trusses instead of steel spider trusses and fitted flash doors internally in all the hostels and chalets, instead of solid Mukwa doors both internally and externally. However, the cost of the substituted materials could not be ascertained,” the report read.

“It was further observed that the ceiling and floor tiles for each of the four hostels covered an area space of 250 square metres, instead of 310 square metres as per the bill of quantity, resulting in an excess of 60 square metres for each hostel for the ceiling and floor tiles valued at K127, 200.”

Meanwhile, at the Ministry of Home Affairs, the report showed failure to recover over-payment for the rehabilitation of a kitchen and toilets at the National Archives of Zambia headquarters in Lusaka.

It also highlighted some degree of wrongdoing in the supply and delivery of fingerprint scanners and passport readers.
The estimated budgetary allocation for the Ministry of Home Affairs for the 2017 financial year was K218, 635, 078 for various programmes.
However, only K172, 401, 684 was released, resulting in an underfunding of K46, 233, 394.