Here are the 5 companies who were awarded the biggest contracts to provide goods and services to Sierra Leone’s ebola response as listed in the Ebola Funds Audit Report covering the period from May – October 2014. The following contracts did not meet the country’s procurement laws and policies and documentation to support the awarding of these contracts were missing, and unaccounted for. This makes it possible for fraud, waste, and misappropriation of funds to occur therefore crippling the nation’s ability to quickly respond to the crisis.
- Ramesco General Supplies – was selected to procure vehicles including 10 ambulances, 5 Toyota Hiluxs, 1 Toyota Landcruiser, and 48 motorbikes. Later Ramesco was also awarded a contract for medical supplies, PPEs, infrared thermometers, and chlorine.
Contract for Vehicles – $ 1,031,000
Contract for Medical Supplies – $ 3,964,423.97
Contract for PPEs, Thermometers, Chlorine – $2,501, 280
Total Ebola Payout = $7, 496, 423.97
On all of these contracts invitation to bid, adverts, acceptance letters, general & particular condition; specifications of service and goods and evidence to show that online publications of contracts details were done, were not submitted. For the procurement of medical supplies which required a Pharmacy Board License/Registration the contract was awarded to Ramesco even though the company did not submit the license as was required by the invitation to bid. No market survey was done to make sure that the government was getting good value for money ~ Ebola Audit Report (Page 22-24)
- Kingdom Security Logistics – was selected as sole source for the procurement of 20 ambulances. The government also paid for the airfreight of the ambulances in excess to what was already agreed to in the contract. It was found that Kingdom Logistics only delivered 16 of 20 ambulances for which it was contracted. And although the government paid for the airfreighting of 17 ambulances there was one missing. Kingdom did not provide a bank guarantee as was indicated on the contract.
Contract for Ambulances – $ 1,050,000
Air Freight (over the contract value) – $360,000
Total Ebola Payout – $1,410,000
- Still owes the government 4 ambulances
“It is apparent that the ministry overrides internal controls, thereby making way for the possible wastage of resources and increasing the risk of fraud. In the event the contractor fails to adequately perform the contract, the government would incur huge losses. It is also a clear indication that the agreement was badly drawn in a bid to prevent the payment of the 10% NRA withholding tax levied on foreign suppliers. “ ~ Ebola Audit Report (19-20)
- CL Group – Was selected to build a 90-bed ebola treatment center at Kerry Town. They were also awarded two additional contracts for the construction of Gbomsama, Port Loko Ebola Treatment Center and an Isolation Center. For the contract at Kerry Town, CL Group was the sole source, contrary to procurement laws CL Group did not provide a bank guarantee, or a performance bond. A contingency fee of Le 160 million ($32,000) was paid to the company without proof or evidence that any contingency had actually occurred.
Contract Awarded for Kerry Town – LE 1,760,000,000
Contract Awarded for Port Loko – Le 2,689,500,000
Total Ebola Payout = 4,449,500,000 ($889,900)
“On these contracts procurement documents such as signed contract agreement, test and examination report on delivery, procurement committee minutes, bidders documents such as bill of quantities, building plan etc. for the under mentioned contracts were not submitted for audit review.” ~ Ebola Audit Report (Pg. 15, 17-18)
- Royal International Supplies – was selected to procure 30 used vehicles of which the contract stipulated that Sierra Leone Roads Transport Authority was to inspect the vehicles before the payment was to be made. No evidence exists that this happened. Within two weeks of the vehicles being supplied the government paid Le 54, 547, 500 ($10,909.50) for repairs.
Contract Awarded for 30 Cars – LE1, 350,000,000 ($270,000)
Total Ebola Payout – $270,000
“This may undermine competitive pricing and may increase the risk of substandard vehicles being supplied, thereby impending the efficiency of the Ebola Emergency Response strategy.
Substandard vehicles may have been delivered to the ministry, with the ministry incurring additional cost of repairing such vehicles within fifteen (15) days of the procurement and delivery of the vehicles. This may lead to the loss of limited resources and create an avenue for fraud.” Ebola Audit Report (Pg. 22)
- Kamasseh Construction and Engineering Services – was selected to construct a fence, staff toilets, and utility bay to Lakka Government Hospital. This was done by the awarding of two contracts neither of which were signed by the contractor nor the Ministry of Health.
Contract for fence and toilets – Le 229,199,000
Contract for Additional toilets, changing room, and water extension – Le 288,044,000
Total Ebola Payout – Le. 517, 243, 000 ($103,448.6)
“The Ebola Audit Report recommends that the ministry’s failure to follow the right procurement process and to produce retirement details should result in the matter being referred to the appropriate authority.” Pg. 16