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Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources (MMEWR)
Rebuttal: Millions disappear mysteriously at MMEWR
17/10/09
The Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources would like to point your attention to the article that bore the caption: "Millions disappear mysteriously at MMEWR." The article that pointed to some possible improprieties in view of monitory issues, as you may be aware, appeared on the second page of the 19th - 25th April 2009 edition of Sunday Standard newspaper.

The Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources would like to point your attention to the article that bore the caption: "Millions disappear mysteriously at MMEWR." The article that pointed to some possible improprieties in view of monitory issues, as you may be aware, appeared on the second page of the 19th - 25th April 2009 edition of Sunday Standard newspaper.

Mention must be made, from the outset, that this response is directed at addressing two major points in the article: The tender for the construction of the Department of Geological Survey headquarters in Lobatse and Contractors Retention Deposits Accounts.

In the interest of transparency, we would like to highlight some facts that may point the nation in the right direction. It is worth mentioning that as is the case with developments of the same nature, construction of buildings, across government, the Department of Building Services is the employer and overseer. Informed by this, we are convinced that reference should have been made to the aforementioned Department instead of the Department of Geological Survey as the latter, procedurally, had limited indulgence in contractual issues mentioned in your article. In other words, the alluded issues are outside the range of the Department. Further, it must be brought to the fore, we have consulted the Department of Building Services on the matter and they are better positioned to further clarity on all issues motivated by the construction of the Department of Geological Survey headquarters in Lobatse.

On the one hand, we are alive to the issue of Contractors Retention Deposits Accounts. However, not in the same light as reflected in the article. In our view, we are dealing with an issue of delayed reconciliation resulting from major changes in our operational processes in our Accounts Unit and not an issue of financial mismanagement. This granted, we have taken a deliberate approach to expedite the process of reconciling the concerned accounts with the view to bringing the matter to a close. We must mention, here, that in an attempt to expedite the reconciliation process our Accounts Units have set themselves a target of up to July to have completed the exercise. The most gratifying development is that to date, the blanket of information gathered does not point to any glimmer of corrupt practice.

On the whole, we would like to reaffirm our commitment and overall responsibility to upholding the value of transparency as we would like to remain an epitome of a professional as well as a disciplined public service. As much as we are convinced that we are dealing with an issue of delayed reconciliation of the accounts, on date, we will make available the outcomes we want to achieve.

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