Audit reveals NDMA paid higher than agreed price for Covid-19 facility resort

Quanratine facility in Farukolhufushi Photo: Ministry of Health

Male’, Maldives – A compliance audit report of the National Disaster Management Center (NDMA) has revealed that a resort has been paid more than that of the agreed rate, for the resort being used as a Covid-19 accommodation facility.

According to the report, agreements were made between the state and several resorts for a maximum period of three months, for the resorts to be used as quarantine and isolation facilities to be used in matters relating to Covid-19.

As per these agreements, it was decided that the state would have to pay MVR 750 per room per each night a room is used, without any added expenses. However, the audit report revealed that one such resort had billed the government with an added 12 percent amount as GST, increasing the total cost of per room per night used to be MVR 840. It was also revealed that the government has paid this amount to the resort.

“Therefore, it is to be highlighted that an excess of MVR 206,280 was paid to the resort, in comparison to the agreed amount.”

The report stressed that it is the responsibility of those in charge of the state’s finances, to ensure that the expenses made out of the budget of the government is in accordance with the set regulations.

“However, it is not believed that the responsible personnel has executed their duties to the fullest extent, given that it has been found that no agreement has been signed with the guest houses from which accommodation was provided for the front line workers, and due to the fact that no verification has been carried out to ensure that the payments of the bills have been made for services which have been sought,” the report read.

The compliance report states that it has been notified to NDMA, that the excess amount paid to the resort must be retrieved and credited to the state funds, as well as to be mindful of the points highlighted in the report, while making future expenditures.