Immigration uniform procurement violates regulations

Immigration Officers | Photo: Maldives Immigration

Malé, MaldivesIt has been revealed that the procurement of fabric and other materials for the tailoring of Maldives Immigration uniforms in 2017 were in violation of the finance and procurement regulations of the Maldives.

The 2018 annual audit report of Maldives Immigration by the Auditor General’s Office stated that on 20 September 2017, an agreement was made with a Malaysian company to source materials for the Immigration’s uniforms. As per the agreement, an order worth USD 199,887 was placed and a total of USD 139,921 was made over two different payments. However, in doing so, several regulations were breached throughout the whole procurement, the report by the Auditor General’s Office stated.

As such, it was detailed that the Malaysian company was awarded the contract on a single source procurement basis without confirming the expertise and financial capabilities of the company. It also said that in the letter sent by Immigration to the Ministry of Finance seeking approval to award the contract to the company, it was stated that other companies were also considered and that this specific company was deemed the best fit. However, the auditors were not provided with any documents proving communication with other companies, standards used to determine the best company for the job or any evaluation process.

“Therefore, it cannot be guaranteed that the contract to source fabric and other materials for uniforms was awarded to the best candidate,” the report read.

Additional discrepancies were also highlighted, being omitted clauses in the agreement such as determination of fines for failure to deliver on deadlines, subsequent action for violation of a clause in the agreement, action to be taken upon an unforeseen circumstance as well as steps to be taken if adequate progress isn’t seen, procedure for advance payment guarantee and performance guarantee.

Further, the report also shed light on the fact that the advance payment made by Maldives Immigration was in violation of the regulations. It revealed that the second payment and the 50 percent of the total payment which is USD 99,943 was paid to the contractor in advance, which was in breach of the regulations.

The report stated that the advance payment was made without confirming that all ordered material was received. It stated that the party who received the shipment did not verify or note down the quantity and quality of the materials that was received, and as such, it cannot be confirmed whether the total order was received as per the agreement made.