Friday, September 22

Auditors’ Finding Shows Covid-19 Food Relief Stored Alongside CementBinta Jaiteh

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The Covid-19 food relief items have been stored alongsidecement, NAO revealed in phase two of its audit of the government’s pandemic response.

The state auditors said the second phase of its audit of the government’s Covid-19 response has discovered that the cement and food items were in close proximity.

“Food items stored with cement in the same warehouse and very close to each other. Food items were not placed on pallets,” NAO disclosed.

NAO said there was a risk of the food items being rendered unfit for human consumption.

It is recommended that the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) should ensure that all food items are placed on a pallet and in well-ventilated stores to avoid damage and contamination.

Auditors explained that their findings revealed that food items were sent to some displaced persons without “appropriate” storage facilities.

“As a result, they were kept in the open and were exposed to the elements. This exposure caused damage to some of the food items leading to wastage of resources,” the audit report read.

NAO’s report pointed out that the perished food itemsremained unaccounted for as no record was provided.

“Records of all items of inventory, including food items kept, should be available at all times and presented for audit,” it recommended.“During our field verification and interview conducted with LRR and WCR coordinators, we noted that some of the food items got damaged while in storage. As a result, 28 bags of 50kg rice and 1 bag of 50kg sugar for LRR and 541 bags of 50kg rice and 65 bags of 50kg sugar for WCR were confiscated by the Food Safety and Quality Control Authority (FSQA) because they were not fit for human consumption. The confiscation certificates were provided for our review,” the audit report revealed.

Meanwhile, NDMA responded that it has noted NAO’s recommendation and expressed the commitment to regularize the situation.