Dubai-based Executors General Trading has delivered 10 of the 75 ventilators contracted to the company by the Health Ministry.
Executors General Trading was awarded a MVR 34.50 million contract to procure 75 ventilators in March, as part of Maldivian government’s efforts to boost the local health system’s capacity to treat coronavirus patients who require critical care.
The contract came under renewed scrutiny in August after an audit revealed that Health Ministry paid MVR 30.91 million, which made for 90 percent of the total payment, to Executors General Trading as an advance, without obtaining an advance guarantee.
However, despite the advance payment, Executors General Trading delivered only 10 ventilators, which were rejected by the Health Ministry after they failed to meet requirements.
Health Ministry’s Deputy Director General Thasleema Usman told Sun on Thursday that Executors General Trading has delivered 10 of the ventilators.
She said that Health Ministry has received confirmation the equipment are at Velana International Airport, and that they will be brought to Male’ as soon as they are cleared through Customs.
The 10 ventilators delivered on Thursday are replacements for the 10 which were rejected by the Health Ministry for failing to meet requirements.
The company needs to deliver 65 more ventilators under the terms of the contract.
Following public outcry over the findings on the audit report, Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer said that the Maldivian government will fine Executors General Trading over the delay in making the delivery, and will sue the company for compensation if they fail to deliver the ventilators.
The audit report concludes that the contract to Executors General Trading wasn’t awarded at the recommendation of World Health Organization (WHO) as was previously stated by government officials, but based on unofficial communications. However, Health Minister Abdulla Ameen insisted during a meeting before the Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee for its inquiry into the audit findings that the communications with WHO were officials.
The audit findings on COVID-19 related spending by Health Ministry are under joint-investigation by Maldives Police Service and Anti-Corruption Commission.