26 April 2012. Auditor General Niyaz Ibrahim has revealed in an audit report that a local company charged with procuring medical consumables and laboratory equipment for Malé and regional hospitals has defrauded the health ministry of Rf 11.8 million (US$ 761, 290).
F- Tech Solutions Pvt. Ltd doctored invoices and delivery notes and forged signatures to collect payment on goods that have not been supplied to the health ministry. The company had supplied only Rf 930, 512 (US$ 60,033) worth of medical consumables and laboratory equipment to the government out of a total contract for Rf 12.8 million (US$ 831,169) awarded to F-Tech in September 2010. The audit report noted that the contract was awarded against the advice of Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC). ACC’s concern was that F-Tech did not have the necessary permits and licences to complete the contract.
The report also pointed out that the State Minister of Finance at that time opened a local letter of credit facility for the full contract value in favour of F-Tech. This was in contravention of the Maldives Finance Act which stipulates that only 15% of the total contract value can be paid put as advance.
The Ministry procured some of the consumables that were not supplied by the contractor and informed F-Tech that the amount would be deducted from the payment to the company. But no such deduction was made.
The Auditor General recommended filing fraud charges against F-Tech Solutions and negligence charges against Tender Evaluation Board and the relevant Health and Finance and Health Ministry officials. The AG has referred the matter to the police for further investigations.