The Valletta European Capital of Culture 2018 Foundation “quite frequently” bypassed procurement regulations, often accompanied also by a lack of source documentation, according to an investigation by the National Audit Office. 

It also found that stocktaking records were not available at the stores falling under the responsibility of the Gozo Ministry while consular services, as reported by the Maltese High Commission in Canberra, lacked documentation backing them up. 

The NAO’s Annual Audit Report on the Public Accounts for 2018 comprises 29 reports on the operations of several government departments and entities. The report also includes an analysis of the Financial Report 2018.

The NAO found weaknesses in internal control procedures at the Courts of Justice insofar as the collection of revenue from fines due. An audit on capital expenditure incurred by the Manoel Theatre identified serious corporate governance issues.

Lack of integrated information technology systems necessary to enhance efficiency and reliability of operations, including revenue collection, was evident during reviews of the Pharmacy of Your Choice Scheme and the Individual Investor Programme, the NAO said in its summary of the report presented by Auditor General Charles Deguara to Speaker Anglu Farrugia on Monday.

Moreover, it found insufficient verification and enforcement procedures during a review of expenditure on Public Social Partnership agreements entered into by the Family, Children’s Rights and Social Solidarity Ministry on the provision of long-term medical beds acquired by the Health Ministry.

The report also contains 230 recommendations which, if implemented by the respective government department or entity, will address the shortcomings identified during these audit assignments and thus promote good governance and best practice in government operations.

The full report may be accessed through this link or directly from the NAO Website: www.nao.gov.mt.