The audit also found that three companies were also granted exceptional public procurement conditions and one of the companies’ employees were later employed at the Centre of Registers. Centre of Registers press representative Mindaugas Samkus states that the circumstances uncovered by the audit reveal potential abuses by responsible individuals in baselessly extending work deadlines and not demanding responsibility from project partners in time. The flaws in the e.health system found this year had to be known already in 2015 by both the Centre of Registers and the Ministry of Healthcare.
Receiving incomplete services
The Centre of Registers representative assures that the e.health system’s flaws are now remedied and the system is operating stably, however reputational harm to the system and the Centre of Registers has already been done.
Delfi reminds that on completing an audit of the e.health system this year, the Ministry of Healthcare announced that documents revealed that the Centre of Registers would accept and confirm as suitable work that was incomplete and no late fees were demanded from the contractors. Delfi sources say that furthermore, the incomplete systems were received and signed for by the then Centre of Registers deputy director for property evaluation Arvydas Bagdonavičius, who did not have the authorisation for this.
Public procurement breaches
Inquiries have found a number of public procurements breaches in the Centre of Registers’ conduct: setting disproportionate demands for contractors, thus narrowing their selection, refusing services outlined in contracts without basis and the Public Procurement Office’s permit.
A case has been uncovered where the technical specifications of services were changed with the contract already having been completed because otherwise it would not have been possible to receive the contracted work. This way, “one supplier purchases” were predominant, with other participants’ proposals rejected, only one supplier would remain.
Private companies’ staff received wages from the state budget
The audit has shown that upon contract expiry, 14 staff from one of the contractors of the e.health system development, Nortal, were employed in the Centre of Registers. They performed improvements and fixes to existing flaws in the system over the period of guarantee service, though this should have been done during the system’s implementation and development. 11 of these staff received wages from the state budget, totalling 235.7 thousand euro spent on wages over 2016-2017.
Furthermore, the Ministry of Healthcare has announced that it has been found that in the healthcare system’s maintenance stage, more than 100 thousand euro worth of software license service, maintenance and improvement services were purchased from UAB Affecto Lietuva.
“This year, the deputy director of the Centre of Registers declared connections to an individual employed in this company, who, in the name of the company, signed under all audited project reception acts despite the contracts specifying different responsible individuals,” the Ministry of Healthcare stated in May.
The e.health system had been in development in Lithuania since 2005. Its creation underwent three stages, the last of which, using EU funding, was completed in 2013-2015. 40 million euro was spent on the system.