CAG says delays in disbursement of funds affected completion of health

30Apr 2021
By Guardian Reporter
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
CAG says delays in disbursement of funds affected completion of health

LACK of local purchase order (LPO) for procured construction materials to build healthcare facilities in various parts of the country resulted in the government losing 3.94bn/- for the 2019/20 fiscal year.

Controller and Auditor General (CAG), Charles Kichere said in his latest audit report that 21 out of 35 or an equivalent 60 percent of visited healthcare facilities which were under construction lacked supporting evidence for the payments made.

However, the CAG also noted that there were payments made for procured construction materials and local masons which had no evidence or justification. He further stated that 333 out of 447 of constructed healthcare facilities in the country experienced delays in completion due to the late arrival of funds.

The CAG stated that President’s Office Regional Administration and Local Government Authorities (PO-RALG) did not allocate funds for supervision at the regional secretariats and LGAs between financial years 2015/16 to 2019/20, despite the fact that the majority of facilities are located 45 to 200 km away from LGAs centres.

According to the report, the 333 facilities is equivalent to 74 percent of constructed structures including district hospitals, were not completed within the planned time throughout the country. The CAG elaborated that 67 out of 68 of constructed district facilities, which is equivalent to 99 percent, experienced delays in completion with the average extent of delays being from 12 to 40 months.

“The hospitals were not completed within the planned cost of 1.5bn/-,” the CAG added saying that it was noted that 67 district hospitals were given additional flat rate funds amounting 300mn/- so as to complete outstanding works.

In Spite of the additional funds, the CAG observed that 100 percent of the district hospitals in all 14 visited LGAs were not completed that implies that additional funds might be needed in order to complete them.

In respect to the visited 14 local government authorities, the report said 33 out of 35, an equivalent to 94 percent of healthcare facilities delayed in completion for periods ranging between two months to three years.

“Among the main causes of delays in completion were the delays in the disbursement of project funds, delays in the supply of material from the factories or suppliers, eruption of diseases which forced labourers to be absent from sites, lack of technical personnel, inadequate fund set aside for construction and adverse rain season,” the CAG noted.

Similarly, cost overrun of the visited health centres ranged from 0.674m/- to 137m/- which was an equivalent of between one and 34 percent respectively. On the other hand, the time allocated for the project implementation was unrealistic as it did not take into consideration the aspect of mobilization of resources and actual start of construction work.

“Lack of quality control mechanism for ongoing construction is another setback,” he pointed out while adding that the majority of constructed facilities might experience either early deterioration or dilapidation.

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