National Disaster Management Authority NDMA’s Chief Executive Hisan Hassan says the Authority had reclaimed the excessive payments it made to purchase food items for some quarantine facilities as highlighted by the COVID-19 Compliance Audit Report of the Authority.

Speaking at a news conference held by NDMA, Hisan said that the Authority had been aware of the excessive payments way before the Audit and corrected that shortage as MVR 28,000 instead of MVR 23,000.

Hisan also said that the Authority has since recovered the excess payments and the Auditor General’s Office had been negligent to include the information in the audit of NDMA. He added that this distorted the true picture and created doubt in the public’s mind.

The COVID-19 Compliance Audit Report of NDMA says that NDMA had purchased food items for the COVID-19 facilities and temporary shelters under its care for prices beyond the government-controlled prices. It said that these staple food items were bought for double the market prices while other food items brought for unmerited prices include tuna cans, lentils, onions, Rihaakuru (fish Paste), and smoked fish.

The Audit report said that NDMA had bought these items for MVR 23,457 more than the total actual prices of the items.

The Audit report had called on the Authority to recovers the excess payments it had made from the state finances and recommended authorities to take action against the businesses that sold food items for prices higher than that set by the Economic Ministry.

The Audit report also advised the Authority to conduct a price comparison even if the purchases are being made as single source procurements.