Yangchen C Rinzin
Not enforcing contract terms, accepting poor quality or defective work and several cases of excess payments are what the Royal Audit Authority found with the Royal Bhutan Police (RBP) in its 2019 audit report.
This has lead to huge portion of the Nu 46.183 million (M) irregularities.
Constructions at the head office in Thimphu alone amounts to Nu 5.409M worth in irregularities. The RBP had accepted various defective works from the construction of four-unit quarters for the deputy chiefs.
Defective works includes road and parking area starting to develop major cracks after completion, partition and retaining walls developing cracks and construction using second-class brick among others.
The RBP also paid Nu 3.379M for the construction of G+4 storied officers’ quarter despite a difference in the actual work done at the site and the work claimed in the bill by the contractor. RBP accepted defective works and paid Nu 0.260M to the contractor, according to the report.
“The RBP also accepted defective works in the blacktopping of internal roads at the prison services division in Chamgang. Grass was found growing on the road indicating a defective work.”
The RBP also accepted works worth Nu 0.616M even when it was not carried out as per specifications. It was also found that the fire service division of RBP in Thimphu also carried out development and construction of building without obtaining permit.
“Apart from carrying out work without permit, the RBP had made several payments against various works that were not carried out as per the specifications.”
The RBP also made inadmissible payments to contractors for various constructions ranging from Nu 0.160M to Nu 7.769M for not carrying work at the site as specified in the bill or payments made for works that was not carried out at the site at all.
The RBP did not enforce terms of contract upon termination of a contractor for breach of contract where the contractor was involved in the construction of integrated academic block at RBP training institute, Jigmeling.
The RBP Training institute, Jigmeling failed to recover liquidated damages of Nu 3.492M from the same contractor. The RBP was supposed to recover the liquidated damages, as per the contract agreement for not completing work on time.
The RBP also retained Nu 2.239M to avoid fund lapses, which the audit pointed was in direct contravention to Finance Rules and Regulations 2016. Similarly, the RBP, Trashigang also retained Nu 3M to avoid fund lapses since the construction of officers’ quarters at Phomshing was not completed on time.
“The RBP despite knowing it was a breach of contract for not completing on time, the contractor was not terminated,” the report pointed out. “The work was supposed to complete on August 31 2017, it was incomplete even at the time of audit in January 2019.”
In another case, Nu 2.339M worth liquidated damages was not levied against a contractor for not completing the construction of prison block at Lungzor, Trashigang. Although the contractor was given three-month extension, the record for completion was not recorded.
The RBP, Trongsa also accepted defective works from a contractor for construction of fire station and garage. The defective works included lapses in retaining wall and plinth protection works. “These had occurred due to inadequate monitoring, assessment and poor workmanship,” the report stated.
Meanwhile, the RAA had issued 18 audit reports of the home ministry and two reports were issued with “qualified” opinion, there were 85 observations amounting to Nu 58.015M of which Nu 3.794M were resolved as of January 31 2020.