KUWAIT CITY, July 25: The annual report of the Prior Control and Technical Support Sector in the State Audit Bureau for the 2020/2021 fiscal year concluded with observations on the performance of the Ministry of Health, such as the lack of assessment of its needs, the failure to exercise the necessary professional care when studying the price lists and quantities of materials to be imported, and the lack of clarity in seeking assistance in private hospitals, reports Al-Qabas daily. The report highlighted that the prior oversight of the State Audit Bureau resulted in achieving financial savings of a total of KD 24.1 million. It explained that the ministry did not adhere to the period of studying the technical bids referred to it and submitting a recommendation regarding them within 30 days in accordance with the provisions of article No. 49 of law No. 49/2016 concerning public tenders.
This phenomenon was received within four agendas that were studied and discussed by the ministry during the above mentioned fiscal year. It requires studying the policies and procedures, so that the delay does not result in the withdrawal of the lowest-priced tender, or the burdening of public money with additional charges in the future. The report stressed the need to study the administrative procedures and policies followed in the ministry, due to the length of time it takes from the date of closing the request for proposals until the date of the approval of the procurement committee in the ministry. It highlighted a lack of provision and completion of the required documents for the topics presented to the State Audit Bureau, which resulted in the rejection of some items.
The report cited some items that were rejected, such as the use of private hospital companies to support the health system in dealing with the COVID-19 crisis, for ten companies with a total value estimated at KD 32.1 million, provided that hospitals book a number of beds with a minimum of 50 percent of the capacity from each hospital, with approximately 400 (normal) beds and 41 intensive care beds, while the Ministry bears the costs of operating expenses related to the salaries of the medical, nursing and technical staff in each hospital, as well as ensuring the provision of medical consumables and medicines. The report revealed that the ministry did not provide the State Audit Bureau with the approval of the Central Agency for Public Tenders for the subject of the research, and the approval of the Ministry of Finance to manage the financial appropriations for the same items, as well as the draft contract to be contracted with hospitals.