The Government still owes service providers to quarantine centres during COVID-19 around $9m.
Permanent Secretary of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology (MECDM), Dr. Melchior Mataki revealed this when he answered questions from journalists on the recent audit reports into NDMO which uncovered several concerns about the use of COVID-19 funds by the ministry.
“We are definitely going to address the gaps in the report. It pointed our weaknesses and we are committed to address the management issues that were pointed,” he said.
Mataki said they have a process in place to follow in responding to the recommendations.
He acknowledged that it was a difficult time and it was also hard to find suppliers especially those who were willing to provide services to the government and paid later.
Meanwhile Mataki also pointed that his ministry had tried its best to ensure that the prices given by suppliers were reasonable.
In that regard, he stated that the NDMO had suppliers who are still been owed by the government for the services they rendered to the quarantine centres.
“I have suppliers who have provided catering and other technical services and operations of quarantine stations and they are yet to be paid. I can understand their frustrations. They are owed close to $9m,” Mataki said.
He stressed that it was an obligation of the government so they would be paid.
“I feel for our suppliers. The process I am aware is undergoing appropriate vetting from Ministry of Finance and I am hoping the payment can be made soon to our suppliers to close off our obligations to contractors that provided support to NDMO for the government operations against covid-19,” said the PS.
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