An official working at the Ministry of Police “forged” a quotation, which was later uncovered as “invalid”.
This is one of the irregularities, which set off a special investigation at the Police in 2015. The irregularity is highlighted in the Samoa Audit Office Report on Irregularities for the financial year 2015-2016, available on their website.
“The invalid quotation was forged by the Procurement Officer to satisfy the Government of Samoa Procurement Process requirement for three written quotes for the procurement of office stationery for the Traffic Division,” the report reads.
“The officer was given the task of obtaining three written quotes for the supply of stationeries."
“Only one supplier provided a written quote and this supplier was selected to supply stationeries for the Traffic Division.”
The report in question was presented to Speaker of Parliament, Leaupepe Toleafoa Fa’afisi, on 16 December 2016.
The report does not identify the officer in question. But it said there were no written quotes received from two other suppliers to satisfy the procurement process requirement.
“A written quotation from another supplier was later received, however this second supplier never replied to the officer’s email despite several follow-up attempts by phone,” the report reads.
“She then created an invalid quote for the second supplier to satisfy the procurement process requirements so that the payment gets to the Accounts Division of M.O.F. before the deadline of the cutoff date for the submission of payments to process for the financial year ended 30 June 2015.”
At the end of the investigation, the Ministry of Finance recommended that the Police conduct a refresher course on the requirements of the Treasury Instruction 2013, Code of Conduct under the P.S.C. Act 2004 and Accounting Manual for management and all staff that are involved in the procurement process.
“All the officers responsible for this matter should be warned for non-compliance with the Procurement Guiding Principles as set out in Part K.2.1(1) of the Treasury Instructions 2013. A responsible procurement officer should also be given an official warning for breaching the procurement process.”
Invalid quote at the Ministry of Women
A similar matter surfaced at the Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development, according to the same report.
“This was reported on the 11 August 2015 regarding an invalid quote from a supplier. The issue of the invalid quote was discovered by the Audit Office during their pre-audit of payments at M.O.F."
“Audit Office requested an IR from M.W.C.S.D. for an investigation be carried out. The supplier quote produced by M.W.C.S.D. was invalid. The Principal Officer for the Division for Youth was the person that produced this invalid quote; she created the quote for the supplier to satisfy the procurement process requirements of the Government of Samoa.”
The report goes on to say that the “principal had breached the Government’s Procurement Guiding Principles under PartK.2.1(1) of the Treasury Instructions 2013. She is liable and may be charged under PFMA Act 2011, PSC Act 2004 (PSC Code of Conduct) and Crime s Act 2013 relating to forgery and false documents."
“The A.C.E.O. – Division of Women who certified the TY11B did not exercise proper check of the three written quotes, which would have identified the invalid quote for Maxkar Ltd. This is a breach of Part C.A.(e) of the Treasury Instructions 2013 which relates to duties of an Accountable Officer.”
The Audit Office’s Report on Irregularities in the Ministries and Parliamentary and Constitutional Offices of the Independent State of Samoa reported to the Audit Office can be downloaded from their website.