Auditor General’s report also reveals that Petrojam did not obtain any value from $17.4-million paid to a consultant to execute two service contracts.
That’s according to a case study presented in the 114-page report into the operations of Petrojam, following allegations of corruption that exploded at the state-owned oil refinery.
The uncomplimentary report concluded that the Boards of the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) Petrojam and all public bodies should develop a framework to strengthen their governance and management.
A case study contained in the extensive report says with regards to two contracts- the first being for three months dated May 15, 2017 for a Financial and Market Assessment Report costing over USD$47,000, Petrojam received no value.
At a glance it shows several inadequacies in awarding consultancy contracts for the Financial and Market and Financial and Future Sustainability Assessment. It tabulates 5 criteria for the awarding of such contracts. Of the five areas assessed, Petrojam failed to meet 4 of them. In one category, Petrojam met the criteria but needed improvement. It found that one, the Board of Directors/and or Finance subcommittee had no input in the approval of the engagement of the consultant.
Two, Petrojam didn’t use the process of competitive bidding to engage the consultant for the two contracts. Three, there’s no evidence that Petrojam verified the Consultant’s professional competence or reviewed the history and experience of the consulting firm in providing the services.
And four, the report found no evidence of deliverables based on the scope of the work to influence Petrojam’s policy and strategic direction.
Petrojam, however, managed to meet one criteria but was still found wanting in that category. The report also suggests that while there’s evidence of the terms of reference and scope of work, there were no clear and measurable deliverables. But that’s not all. It also states that the then General Manager contracted the company for 3 months in May 2017 at almost USD$53-thousand.
Four months later, he contracted the same company at a cost of almost USD$80,000 for the same services. It’s understood the Procurement Committee up to mid-August 2017 declined the awarding of the contract stating the consultancy firm was hired previously for the same task.
It declined to award the contract a second time in August but later agreed without rationale between August 25 and September 4, 2017.
Meanwhile, the report also found, that donations of $25-million lacked transparency and accountability. It cited the shifting of funds by a Petrojam board member from one community association to another and the awarding of funds to two schools which had no post donation follow up. It also found that the oil refinery showed no due-diligence in granting donations.
Additionally, the report detailed numerous deficiencies in Petrojam’s Human Resources practices. Petrojam’s former Human Resources Manager, Yolande Ramharrack, resigned last month. Each case study revealed examples of breaches and mismanagement.
The last of the 6 case studies concluded unsubstantiated payments were being made under contracts for counselling and consultancies.