Health Min failed to recover Rs 51M – COPA
By Gagani Weerakoon and Methmalie Dissanayake
The Health Ministry has failed to recover Rs 51 million from the contractor, who undertook the construction of the seven-storey Millennium Ward Complex at the Colombo South Teaching Hospital in Kalubowila, after the contactor failed to complete the work on time.
This was revealed during the Sitting of the Committee on Public Accounts (COPA).
COPA Sitting was held in Parliament to review the Auditor General’s Report on the Ministry of Health for the year 2017/2018 and the Ministry’s current performance.
Accordingly, the contract for the construction of the seven-storey Millennium Ward Complex at the Colombo South Teaching Hospital in Kalubowila was awarded to a private company on 14 August 2006, with a contract value of Rs 398 million. Although the construction was scheduled to be completed on 19 March 2008, the committee observed that the contract with the respective contractor was ended as the work had not been completed.
The Committee paid special attention to the failure in recovering Rs 51 million paid to the contractor by that date. The Committee directed the Secretary to the Ministry of Health to take immediate action to recover this sum.
The Committee expressed its displeasure over the fact that 224 fingerprint machines purchased by the Ministry in 2006 at a cost of Rs 31.71 million have been inactive for more than 15 years.
Furthermore, according to the Combined Plan of the Second Health Sector Development Project, Rs 346 million had been allocated for innovations during the five-year project period. But as at 3 December 2017, Rs 399 million had been approved for 34 innovation research proposals. It was disclosed at the meeting that multiple research projects carried out by a single person have led to the ineffectiveness of the projects.