Revealed: Audit report exposes massive corruption at SSHFC
A 2016 Audit report has exposed an endemic corruption at the Social Security & Housing Finance Corporation (SSHFC).
The management of Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation (SSHFC) have dabbled in misappropriation of pensioners funds by awarding contracts which were not executed in the proper way, a recently released 2016 audit report has charged.
The audit report which was signed by Almamie Mankajang on behalf of the Auditor General covered the period 13th March 2013 to 29th February 2016. The audit exercise which was recommended by The Gambia Public Procurement Authority (GPPA) to the National Audit Office (NAO) looked at the suspected mis-procurement in the construction of roads and culverts at the Brikama Jamisa and Tujering housing estates, in accordance with Part 111, Section 12, Sub-section 7 (0) of The Gambia Public Procurement Act 2014.
The report looked into the awarding of contracts for building roads and culverts at SSHFC housing estates in Brikama Jamisa and Tujereng respectively.
The contract committee of the corporation, according to the report, failed to hold regular meetings to asses the progress of the project, as well as implementing punitive measures for the failure of the contractor to meet the terms and conditions of the contract leading to losses of millions of dalasis of workers’ savings for their retirement.
SSHFC entered into an agreement with Gai Enterprises in March 2013 for the construction of roads and culverts at the corporation’s Brikama Jamisa and Tujering housing estates. The two projects were to be completed in five and four months respectively. Three years to the conduct of the audit exercise in 2016, the projects were not completed and a staggering D59,492,919.08 (fifty-nine million, four hundred and ninety-two thousand, nine hundred and nineteen dalasis and zero eight bututs) was paid to the contractor.
The audit revealed high risks in the administration of the projects thereby loosing SSHFC millions of Dalasis of pensioners cash. For example, the audit analysis revealed an 88% payment of the contract sum had already been paid, when the combined works for the two projects was only 50% completed. From a total combined contract amount of D67,453,395.50, an actual payment of D59,492,919.08 was made to Gai Enterprises. Payments which should have been paid according to actual work carried out is D35,936,878.50. This represents a difference of D23,556,040.58.
The audit exposes recklessness in the administration of pensioners funds that the culprits should be held accountable. The report also highlighted lack of transparency in the award of contracts.
In a similar vein, in 2009, SSHFC under the leadership of Tumbul K Danso lost a sum of D30,000,000 (Thirty million) through a purchase of land at Makimbaya which the corporation later lost due to encumbrance, the report revealed. The said amount meant for the Brikama Jamisa and Tujering estates was diverted to purchase the land against the advice of the Director of Finance thereby causing a loss of the capital plus the potential return on investment (ROI) that it could have earned the corporation from 2009 to 2016.
Snippets of the audit report can be seen below: