Sunday, October 17, 2021

ANOTHER FINANCIAL BAMBOOZLE

A Parliamentary Committee on Intelligence and Security report marked “Confidential’ reveals that the Office of the President is failing to account for some of the “missing” funds that were used to set up the Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DIS).

The “missing” funds were diverted from the accounts of the National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF) under controversial circumstances. Earlier reports revealed how the hastily inception of the country’s secret service, on the eve of President Ian Khama’s ascension to the highest office, led to the use of unauthorised funds as there was no accounting code for an otherwise non-existent department.

The latest Parliamentary Committee on Intelligence and Security Report reveals that part of the unauthorized cannot be accounted for.

According to the confidential report, “the Office of the President, as the custodian of the Account as well as financial advisor to DISS by then did not manage the account as expected”.

The report states that this is evidenced by contradicting statements issued. It says initial Public Accounts Committee submission on 2007/2008 Accounts showed that the total amount available for use was P42 470  000 and that a sum of P10 225 455 was available for use after financial year end.

“Re-submission for the same period stated the total available funds after expenditure as P3 625 820 and not P10 225 455 as stated earlier,” reads the report.

It says on the advice given based on these contradicting statements, Government Purchase Orders (GPOs) were prepared during 2007-2008 to meet the outstanding needs of the organisation at that critical formation stage. “This action caused over-expenditure amounting to P2 875 638.75. However, payments were only made in the 2008-2009 financial year,” reads the report.

It adds that “on the 16th October 2008, the financial advisor informed DIS of the over-expenditure and requested a virement to cover the same. It should be noted that all transactions were made from OP as DIS did not have staff at that time.”

The report further observes that “the DIS is adamant that it will not admit to overspending the approved amount by P2 875 638.75 under the guidance and advice given by OP and did not apologise for the same.”

Meanwhile, the report states that media reports stated that Botswana Telecommunications Company (BTC) made millions of Pula at some stage due to business that the company secured from DIS.

The report quotes DIS as saying that since its inception in April 2008 to date (2011) it has paid BTC P31 068 583. 00 as opposed to P60 million that was stated in the media.

The document which contains a DIS report-activity report for financial year 2009/2010 shows that BTC was one of the major suppliers of the company.

But the organisation’s major supplier which raked in millions of Pula is Vlatacom the controversial Israeli-Serbian company believed to have paid about P1million towards the purchase of DIS Director General, Isaac Kgosi’s farm in Sentlhane Farms.

According to the GPO number 01/0207/09-10/000030, the company was awarded a tender worth more than P24 million. The project was for the supply of Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS). The company also won a tender worth P43 million as evidenced by GPO number 01/0207/09/-10/000043 for the supply of countrywide radio network.

Another GPO number 01/0207/09-1000237 worth 13 million was for ID production system. Vlatacom also supplied DIS with AFIS worth P8 million as evidenced by GPO number 01/0207/09-10/000239.

Sunday Standard can reveal that the total amount paid out by DIS to Vlatacom under Kgosi’s watch stands at P467 891 591.66 is more than twice the annual development budget for the Ministry of Health, which was P203 million in the 2015 budget; and slightly less than two thirds of the annual development budget for the Ministry of Education which was P844 million in 2015.

The Botswana Housing Corporation (BHC) is also listed as a major supplier of DIS as it rented out houses to the organisation across the country. The report stated, “good services but houses had lots of faults after occupation.”

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