One example was the award of a contract, worth 56.3 million meticais, for installing a data and voice network inside the Tribunal’s new headquarters, to the company Triana without any public tender.The Tribunal justified this on the grounds that it would have taken several months longer to install the system had the normal tendering procedures been followed. This excuse, Deloitte said, meant in reality there had been “a lack of adequate planning”. Furthermore, there was no evidence that Triana had presented the legally required bank guarantee for half the sum (28.1 million meticais).Deloitte found that, in a blatant conflict of interest, the Tribunal hired its own staff, including the Tribunal’s general secetary, Luis Herculano, as consultants. For this work, Herculano was paid almost 900,000 meticais on top of his normal wages for the year. Four other Tribunal staff members were also hired as consultants. In every case, payment to these “consultants” was authorised by the presiding judge of the Administrative Tribunal, Machatine Munguambe.The audit also found that staff members were exceeding the limits on their use of cell phones paid for out of the Tribunal budget. Each member of staff is entitled to an allowance of 2,000 meticais a month for mobile phone use. The Tribunal’s excuse for greatly exceeding this allowance is that its staff were using their phones to access the Internet, a possibility not considered when the Finance Ministry drew up the norms for communication allowances.Deloitte had no choice, however, to stick to the letter of the law. “The allowances are not authorised by the Minister of Finance, the only authority competent to authorise allowances and their limits:, it pointed out. The total excess cell phone payments detected by the audit amounted to over 746,000 meticais.The auditors also thought it “a grave financial irregularity” to pay in advance, with sums from one year’s budget, for goods and services for the following year. The Tribunal had done this in regard to cell phone payments – it paid 950,000 meticais to the phone companies M-Cel and Vodacom in late 2012 for 2013 invoices that it had not yet received.
The Tribunal has a perfectly good explanation for this. Because the monthly budget instalments are disbursed late by the Finance Ministry’s National Treasury Directorate, it made good sense to use funds left over from the 2012 financial year to ensure that the Tribunal could continue to operate normally in early 2013.Good sense it is – but the auditors can only operate within the law, and the Law on the State Financial Management System (SISTAFE) states categorically “Expenses can only be paid during the financial year for which they have been budgeted”.Deloitte also questioned the payment of almost 60 million meticais to the national airline LAM, for air tickets, vehicles hire and accommodation. The invoices for flights could not be related to specific tickets, and the invoices for car hire did not specify the type of vehicle hired and for how many days. Accommodation invoices did not specify the names of the persons concerned and the length of their stay.Without such details, said Deloitte, “it is impossible for us to confirm the integrity of all the sums paid to LAM”.It is embarrassing that the Administrative Tribunal, which is the highest audit body in