The Auditor General Report 2016 explained that the sum of $25M was paid for the rental of the Sussex Street Warehouse for the months of July and August 2016. However, the warehouse was not utilised for storage during the said months by the Ministry.
The Ministry’s first delivery to the warehouse was on 1 September 2016 as reflected on the report generated by MAC’s software with movements from Diamond Warehouse to Sussex Street Warehouse.
Government ended its contract with New GPC Inc. for the rental of a cheaper, larger, state-of-the-art and PAHO certified drug warehouse to pay its supporter nearly $150M every year for the rental of a house to store drugs and other pharmaceuticals.
The government attempted to mislead the nation on this matter on numerous occasions and the then Minister of Public Health Dr George Norton was used as a scapegoat and sacked in an effort to deflect attention from the issue; he was eve hauled before the privileges committee to answer to charges of misleading the National Assembly on the matter.
The AG report noted that the contract for the rental of the warehouse dated 1 June 2016 and signed by the two parties on the 20 July 2016 for a period of three years, saw Lloyd Singh cashing in on $100M in the first six months even though the contract stipulated that the monthly charge was $12.5M.
The AG report also noted that the contract stipulated that the building be equipped with sixteen stand-up refrigerators. However, only fourteen refrigerators were seen at the time of the physical verification on 11 April 2017.
It added that the contract stipulated that there should be central air condition on both levels and back up of twelve 18,000 BTU air conditioning units. However physical verification revealed that ten of the units were 18,000 BTU, while two were 12,000 BTU, the report said.
The APNU/AFC coalition had come under fire for its decision to spend millions on a bottom house owned by an AFC financier for the storage of drugs, especially when there are more economical alternatives available.