By John Saukira
BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)-Audit by National Audit Office at College of Medicine a constituent College of the University of Malawi has revealed that the University paid Sechtech Security Company some cash despite the company contract No. COM/S/5/02/15 had already expired.
Investigations which Maravi Post has been conducting on the issue indicate that COM signed a contract with SechTech Security company to provide security services for the financial year 2016-17.
After the auditors came for auditing, it was found that the College paid the company MK7Million after expiry of their contract.
Investigation further reveals that the College paid through cheque number 46296 amounting to MK 7,560,850 which was for a full month payment.
Item 6.9.2, says during the financial year under review, a contract for the provision of Security Services Ref. No. COM/S/5/02/15 was awarded to Sechtech Security and it was for ten months effective 13th March, 2016.
An examination of payment vouchers for the month of March, 2016 revealed an over-payment on the Security Services contract amounting to MK 3,024,340.
According to the report that we have seen, the contract was effective 13th March, 2016 but it was noted that payment for the cheque number 46296 amounting to MK 7,560,850 was for a full month.
“Ordinarily, Sechtech Security should have been paid MK 4,536,510 being payment on pro-rata basis hence the overpayment of MK 3,024,340.”
Auditor General says in the report that while Contract documents may not have been properly scrutinised resulting into a possible loss of College funds,
“Management should recover the excess payment from the security company and provide the details to the auditors for checking.”
However despite COM management noting the issue the money has not yet been recovered.
COM Principal Mwapatsa Mipando confirmed about the query saying the matter is still under review to the extent that COM Management is double-checking with the auditors to establish the facts as the cheque number that was quoted was for the payment of the month of April.
In April, the Security Company provided services for the whole month and hence the whole payment was due to them.
Mipando said in parallel to the above action, COM Management is also working through the Registrar General’s records to locate the owners of the security firm as the company was wound up.
“We would want to engage the owner to establish the real facts and ascertain the payment schedule that we had with him as compared to what we have in our records,” he said.
“Once we have established the facts, we will take appropriate actions including strengthening our systems, and if necessary recover the over payment through legal channels.”