The Audit Commission says in a report that the government’s now defunct office that prepared Macau’s participation in the 2010 Shanghai World Expo has failed to provide a full explanation about the 34.4 million pataca difference between the actual amount of money it paid for moveable assets and the respective amount listed in the government’s movable assets inventory.
The commission released its hard-hitting report Monday,
The Office for Preparation of Macau’s Participation in the Shanghai World Expo was established in March 2008. The world fair was held from May to October 2010.
The government set up two pavilions for the Shanghai Expo.
The government had appointed Cristina Ieong Pou Yee as director of the office from March 2008 to March 2011. Ieong was vice-director of the Economic Services Bureau from 2008 until the end of 2010.
According to The Macau Post Daily she is said to be currently on unpaid long leave from the civil service.
The office was closed in March last year.
The commission said in the report that according to current regulations all government-owned moveable assets – with some exceptions such as cars – must be recorded in the government’s movable asset inventory including their respective original purchase prices, as well any depreciation.
According to the regulations, the prices after depreciation must be listed in the inventory as well, the report pointed out.
Based on the figures provided by the now defunct office, the commission found that the prices the office paid for the expo’s movable assets during 2010 and 2011 was about 48.4 million patacas.
However, the amount listed for the goods in the inventory was just 14.01 million patacas, resulting in a difference of about 34.4 million patacas, the report stated.
The commission said in the report that the office could not give a full explanation of the difference.
The office told the commission that it could not confirm whether it had listed all moveable assets, which needed to be recorded in the inventory, according to the report.
The commission also said in the report that the office had not shown whether there were any documents to prove it had made a full record of the moveable assets acquired for Macau’s participation in the expo.
Thus it was difficult for the commission to verify whether the office had listed all its moveable assets in the inventory, the report said.
The commission also criticised the office for having set up an “unscientific budget” for participating in the expo.
According to the report, the office had submitted an overall budget of about 320 million patacas to the government in 2008, the calculation of which was based on the cost of participating in the World Expo in 1998.
The commission said in the report that the office had spent about 262.6 million patacas in the end.
The commission also slammed the office for providing an incomplete budget in which all foreseeable costs including staff salaries, accommodation and equipment should have been included.
Responding to the commission’s findings, the Economic Services Bureau, which was responsible for the follow-up after the office ceased to exist, said that it would correct and renew the inventory ”as soon as possible”, according to the report.(macaunews)