PERFORMANCE AUDIT REPORT

ACQUISITION AND USE OF LANDS FOR
GOVERNMENT PROJECTS

Ministry of Housing and Lands

July 2015

CONTENTS
ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Page
iii
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CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1 Motivation
1.2 Audit Objectives
1.3 Auditee
1.4 Time Coverage
1.5 Geographical Coverage
1.6 Assessment Criteria
1.7 Audit Methodology

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4
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CHAPTER TWO: DESCRIPTION OF THE AUDITED ACTIVITY
2.1 Role and Responsibility of MHL in the Acquisition Process
2.2 Requests for Lands and Vesting Procedures
2.3 Organisation Structure of MHL
2.4 Key Players and Their Activities
2.5 Recording of Vested Lands
2.6 Project Plan Committee

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CHAPTER THREE: FINDINGS
3.1 Land Acquisition
3.2 Land Use
3.3 Recording of Vested Lands
3.4 Monitoring of Vested Lands by MHL
3.5 Land Acquisition Recording and Payment System

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15
18
20
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CHAPTER FOUR: CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

4.1 Land Acquisition
4.2 Land Use
4.3 Recording and Monitoring of Vested Lands
TABLES
1 Sections of the LAA used as Assessment Criteria
2 Time Taken to Complete Acquisition Procedures
3 Effect of Late Handing Over of Site
4 Number of Corrigenda Published
5 Reply from the Valuation Department Exceeding Five Months
6 Examples of Interest Paid
7 Examples of Vested Lands not yet Developed
8 Examples of Vested Lands not Recorded at LIU

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ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS
BOA

Board of Assessment

DSLR

Digital State Land Register

LAA

Land Acquisition Act

LAVIMS

Land Administration, Valuation and Information Management System

LIU

Land Information Unit

MHL

Ministry of Housing and Lands

MOFED

Ministry of Finance and Economic Development

MOLG

Ministry of Local Government and Outer Islands

MPI

Ministry of Public Infrastructure and Land Transport

MFRS

Mauritius Fire and Rescue Service

MYS

Ministry of Youth and Sports

NAO

National Audit Office – Mauritius

NDU

National Development Unit

PBB

Programme Based Budget

PPC

Project Plan Committee

RDA

Road Development Authority

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Acquisition and Use of Lands for Government Projects

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
The Ministry of Housing and Lands (MHL) acquires privately owned lands on behalf of
Ministries and Government Departments for construction of roads, drains and other projects 1.
Lands are acquired through private agreements and compulsorily. Compulsory acquisitions
are carried out within the legal framework of the Land Acquisition Act (LAA) 1982, as
amended in 2013.
The objective of this Performance Audit is to assess whether lands acquired by MHL and
vested in Ministries and Government Departments have been used for the intended purposes.
Further, it seeks to establish whether the acquisitions were done on a timely basis and in the
most economical manner. The recording system was also reviewed.

Key Findings
 For the past 10 years, MHL had disbursed some Rs 2.2 billion on acquisition of lands for
various Government projects. Several plots of land acquired on or prior to year 2010 have
remained undeveloped. Information on the extent of lands acquired, but not developed
was not readily available as there were no established procedures for Ministries and
Government Departments to give feedback on the current statuses of the lands. Moreover,
it was not clearly defined as who should ensure that lands vested were used on a timely
basis and for the intended purposes.
 Prior to year 2010, there was no mechanism in place at the MHL to ascertain that the
requesting Ministries and Government Departments had the required funds for
implementing their projects before initiating acquisition for land. However, MHL has
recently taken initiatives to ensure that the implementing agencies have the necessary
fund for the project at the time of request for land.
As for the plan of the project, MHL is still not ensuring the availability thereof at time of
request. For a few cases examined, the structural designs of the buildings were not yet
completed, and in other cases, the requesting Ministries and Government Departments did
not carry out a proper need analysis of the projects.
 For a few cases regarding construction of roads, MHL could not ensure availability of the
lands on time. Hence, Government had to disburse additional funds. This was attributed
to the fact that owner identification was time consuming.
 Lands acquired by MHL were not always in the most economical manner. The LAA
provides for the offer of compensation to beneficiaries after the publication of notice
under Section 8 and transcription of the land. However, the time frame to accept or reject
an offer is not mentioned. A beneficiary made a counter claim to the original offer some
seven years later, and MHL had to disburse interest amounting to some 73 per cent of the
compensation payable.

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Other projects include construction of stadiums, swimming pools, Fire Stations, and Multipurpose buildings.

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 The records for lands vested in the selected Ministries and Government Departments kept
at the MHL were incomplete. For instance, several plots of land acquired and vested in
the National Development Unit (NDU) were not found in the database kept at the Land
Information Unit of MHL.
Conclusion
The acquisition of land for Government projects involves significant Government’s funds and
impacts on the development of the projects. The timely acquisition of land at least cost is
therefore essential. However, MHL has not always been able to acquire land on a timely basis
and in the most economical manner. A complete database of all vested lands was not
available. Information on their statuses was also not readily available. There are several plots
of land that have been acquired, but have not yet been developed.

Key Recommendations
 A mechanism should be put in place at MHL to ensure that land acquired is used for the
intended purposes on a timely basis. Ministries and Government Departments should be
requested to submit regular feedback on implementation of projects. In this respect, the
role and responsibilities of MHL and requesting Ministries and Departments need to be
clearly defined
 Recently, MHL has taken initiatives to ensure that the implementing agencies have the
necessary fund for the project at the time of request for land. This measure could be
extended to include availability of design of the project. In that respect, a consultative
platform needs to be set up by the requesting Ministry/ Government Department bringing
in all stakeholders so that there is a constructive dialogue and everyone knows his role,
responsibilities and obligations. This will minimise any future unproductive vesting.
 Time lag for reply from beneficiaries also needs to be established
 MHL should ensure that all vested lands are properly recorded. The land acquisition
system needs to be automated. A complete database on their current statuses should be
maintained.

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CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
During the past years, with the increasing public investment in the fields of education, road
infrastructure and sports in particular, the demand for land from Ministries and Government
Departments has increased considerably. State Lands that may be used for development are
becoming scarce and Government has to acquire privately owned lands.

1.1 Motivation
The National Audit Office (NAO) has often reported that several plots of land acquired by
the Ministry of Housing and Lands (MHL) on behalf of Ministries and Government
Departments were not developed. Further, adverse press reports have highlighted
Government projects kept in abeyance since the year 2005, thus indicating non achievement
of the objectives set.
For the past 10 years, the expenditure on land acquisition has been constantly increasing to
reach a cumulative amount of some Rs 2.2 billion. For the period 2009 to 2013, more than 80
per cent of the expenditure was meant for projects relating to construction of roads.
In view of the sum spent and the adverse press reports, the NAO carried out this Performance
Audit on “Acquisition and Use of Lands for Government Projects”.

1.2 Audit Objectives
The audit objectives were to assess whether:
 MHL ensures the availability of lands for the implementation of Government Projects at
the right time and in the most economical manner
 The vested lands have been used for the intended purposes
 Records for lands acquired and vested are complete and reliable and their use monitored
effectively.

1.3 Auditee
The auditee is MHL as it is responsible to acquire privately owned lands before vesting them
in Ministries and Government Departments for implementation of projects.

1.4 Time Coverage
The audit covered acquisitions for the period 2009 to 2013.
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1.5 Geographical Coverage
The audit covered the Island of Mauritius.

1.6 Assessment Criteria
The Performance Indicator as set in the Programme Based Budget (PBB) Estimates 2010
regarding completion of all procedures for acquisition of private lands for public projects
within five months, and the Sections of the LAA as shown in Table 1 were used as
assessment criteria.
Table 1 Sections of the LAA used as assessment criteria

Sections
6
8(2) & 8(3)

Brief
Issue of investigation notice in respect of land likely to be
compulsorily acquired
Publication of notices

14(1)

Compensation to beneficiaries

18(6)

Interest payable on compensation to beneficiaries

Source : LAA

1.7 Audit Methodology
The audit was conducted in accordance with relevant standards of the International Standards
of Supreme Audit Institutions. The following methodologies were used for the audit to
understand the audit area, along with gathering sufficient, relevant and reliable audit evidence
to support the conclusions and recommendations.

1.7.1 Documents Reviewed
The audit team collected data mainly through file reviews. The data from the Treasury
Accounting System for the past 10 financial years were extracted to examine the trend of
expenditure on the acquisition of privately owned lands. The procedures for compulsory
acquisitions and those through private agreements, as established by MHL were also
reviewed. Further, as the land acquisition process is regulated, the different Sections of the
LAA 1982, as amended in 2013 were referred to.

1.7.2 Sampling
A sample of acquisitions for the implementation of road projects for the Road Development
Authority (RDA) over the period 2009 to 2013 was selected.
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Another sample of plots of land acquired and vested on or prior to year 2010 in the following
selected Ministries and Government Departments was also referred to in view of taking
cognizance of their planning and recording systems, as well as their statuses as of February
2015.
 Ministry of Local Government and Outer Islands (MOLG)
 Mauritius Fire and Rescue Service (MFRS)
 National Development Unit (NDU)
 Ministry of Youth and Sports (MYS)

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CHAPTER TWO
DESCRIPTION OF THE AUDITED ACTIVITY
This Chapter describes the role and responsibilities of MHL and the activities of the other key
players in relation to acquisition of land. It also briefly describes the responsibilities of selected
Ministries and Government Departments for requesting lands from MHL and those of RDA
regarding acquisition of lands for construction of roads.

2.1 Role and Responsibility of MHL in the Acquisition Process
MHL acquires lands on behalf of Ministries and Government Departments through private
agreements and compulsorily. Compulsory acquisitions are carried out within the legal
framework of the LAA 1982, as amended in 2013.
Sections 8 and 9 of the Constitution provide for the protection of the rights of any person
from the deprivation of property and privacy of home and other property. The LAA confers
on the State the right to compulsorily acquire any land provided, amongst others, the
conditions laid down in the Constitution are fulfilled and adequate compensation is paid.

2.2 Requests for Lands and Vesting Procedures
2.2.1 Road Development Authority (RDA)
The RDA is involved in land acquisition for construction of roads. Its Surveyors carry out the
following tasks.
 A preliminary survey of ownership is carried out and the land owners are notified by
letter. A list is prepared providing all details on ownership, and the area required for the
project
 Searches are carried out at the Registrar General’s Department to confirm the legal
ownership of each plot
 Notices as required under Sections 6 and 8 of the LAA are prepared by RDA and sent to
MHL for vetting, approval by Minister and publication

2.2.2 Other Selected Ministries and Government Departments
The process starts with the identification of projects. All project proposals are sent to the
Accounting Officers of respective Ministries and Government Departments for approval. The
requests for lands are then addressed to the Senior Chief Executive of MHL. A joint site
visit, involving the Ministry or Government Department and other stakeholders, is organised
by MHL to assess the suitability and location of the land. Upon satisfaction, MHL undertakes
acquisition and vesting procedures.

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2.3 Organization Structure of MHL
The mission and objectives of MHL include the management and the control of development
on State Lands. To achieve the mission and the objectives, the activities of MHL are
organized within several Divisions. The Planning and Survey Divisions are relevant for this
audit.

2.3.1 Planning Division
The main activities of the Planning Division include the identification of land for
Government projects in consultation with the relevant stakeholders.

2.3.2 Survey Division
The Survey Division provides information on availability of State Lands. Where State Lands
are not available, it helps in identifying privately owned lands for acquisition. The Division
includes the Land Acquisition and Project Unit, which carries out all the activities from
notification to award of compensation to beneficiaries, and also monitoring same. It records
the land acquisition data, such as date of request, the current statuses of different notices
issued as required by the LAA and payment of compensation to beneficiaries.

2.4 Key Players and Their Activities
Besides MHL, there are other key players involved in the acquisition of lands, namely
 Registrar General's Department
The registration and transcription of title deeds is done at the Registrar General’s Department.
 Valuation Real Estate and Consultancy Services (Valuation Department)
The Valuation Department assesses compensation payable to land owners.
 Attorney General’s Office
It appoints Public Notaries on behalf of MHL and issues instructions for the drawing up of
deeds of sale, as well as providing legal assistance for cases referred to the BOA.

2.5 Recording of Vested Lands
The Land Information Unit (LIU) at MHL maintains records of State Lands leased and
acquired lands vested in Ministries and Government Departments for implementation of
projects in “Microsoft Office Access”. Some of the data that are input include Parcel ID,
District, locality, file reference, type of lease, purpose, rent amount and name of lessee.
Reports are generated accordingly.

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With a view to coming up with a complete register of all private and State Lands throughout
the country, MHL acquired in December 2008, the Land Administration and Valuation
Information Management System (LAVIMS). It consists of four components, and has two
main objectives, namely establishing an efficient and cost-effective land administration and
online information register, and to set up a general valuation roll of some 350,000 residential
properties, private or State owned. The System, which had cost some Rs 600 million in
December 2008, would be a powerful web-based information management system to allow
efficient interaction, retrieval and analysis of the data by all its potential stakeholders.
2.6 Project Plan Committee
A Project Plan Committee (PPC) was set up in the Ministry of Public Infrastructure and Land
Transport in 2009. Its main objective is the assessment of the infrastructure needs of the
various sectors of the economy. Its functions include the examination of the feasibility and
cost benefits of infrastructure project proposals. All investment proposals above Rs 25
million, excluding cost of land, have to be reviewed by the PPC, in consultation with
implementing agencies and other concerned Public Bodies prior to the development of a
pipeline of projects. An Investment Project Proposal from the requesting Ministry and
Government Department estimated at below Rs 25 million does not require the approval of
the PPC, but are submitted to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MOFED)
for approval.

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CHAPTER THREE
FINDINGS
This Chapter describes the findings related to land acquisitions and use, recording and monitoring
mechanisms at MHL and the selected Ministries and Government Departments.

3.1 Land Acquisition
MHL has not always been able to acquire land on a timely basis and in the most economical
manner. This was mainly attributed to long procedures, as well as the absence of a time frame
for other parties to respond to MHL.

3.1.1 Long Procedures
During the past years, with the massive investment on Government projects, the demand for
land has increased considerably. Hence, the timely acquisition and vesting of lands in the
requesting Ministries and Government Departments is vital to ensure that projects are
implemented on time.
Targets not Met
One of the Performance Indicators of MHL, as stated in the PBB Estimates for 2010, was the
completion of all acquisition procedures within five months.
In the cases listed in Table 2, MHL has taken more than five months for completing the
acquisition procedures.
Table 2 Time Taken to Complete Acquisition Procedures

Project

Funding
Ministry

No. of Lots
Acquired

Request
Date

Transcription
Date

Time
Taken

MPI - NDU

1

28.06.11

13.12.12

1 year 5
months

MPI - RDA

35

26.02.10

28.06.11

1 year 4
months

Extension of Trois Ilots
Cemetery

MOLG

1

19.11.07

15.05.12

4 years 5
months

Construction of Cremation
Ground at Clavet

MPI - NDU

1

30.01.03

29.03.13

10 years 2
months

Incineration Project at
Beau Champ

MPI - NDU

1

23.05.12

18.03.13

9 months

Construction of Football
Ground at Quatre Bornes
Widening of Belle Vue
Road (B22) from Petite
Retraite to Laventure

Source: MHL’s Records

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Requests not Met
In other cases, for example the relocation of the two Fire Stations at Quatre Bornes and Port
Louis (Case Studies 1 and 2), lands initially identified for the projects in years 1984 and 2010
respectively were found unsuitable. Although MFRS made several requests for alternative
sites, as of February 2015, MHL has not yet identified the appropriate lands for the relocation
of the two Fire Stations. Government has already approved the required funds needed to
implement the projects.
Case Study 1 - Relocation of Quatre Bornes Fire Station
The relocation of Quatre-Bornes Fire Station dates back to 1976, in anticipation of the expiry of the
lease agreement. It was also found that the Fire Station is situated in the middle of the town, being
most of the time heavily congested due to numerous commercial activities taking place in the vicinity.
Hence, the fire trucks are often found to be obstructed in traffic jams. A plot of land in Quatre Bornes
vested for relocating the Fire Station in 1984 was found unsuitable for the project by the then
Ministry of Works, being triangular in shape, thus offering no training and drilling facilities. The
presence of a bus lay-by would also hinder visibility, and no direct access on St Jean Road was
allowed. On 20 August 2009, MOLG expressed no objection to the release of the plot of land subject
to an alternative site be identified for the relocation of the Fire Station.
On 25 March 2014, a plot of land of an extent of about 1A35P at Avenues des Tulipes, Quatre Bornes
was identified. However, on 9 June 2014, MHL informed that the site was found inappropriate, due to
sensitive uses in close proximity thereto. MFRS was requested to identify three alternative sites for the
eventual relocation of the Quatre Bornes Fire Station. As of February 2015, the appropriate land was
not yet identified.

Case Study 2 - Relocation of Port-Louis Fire Station
On 22 November 2006, MPI submitted a structural investigation report, which stated that the building
suffers from structural defects and is unsafe and beyond economic repair. On 29 October 2009, the
Occupational Safety and Health Unit submitted a report which stated that the wooden structure could
not be restored. Two sites were identified, one at Roche Bois to cater for a sub-station, and the other
one at Colline Monneron for a main station. At a meeting held on 21 June 2010, mention was made
that the site at Roche Bois was located on a busy round about which could hamper the rapid turn out
of the fire fighting vehicles. Further, RDA did not agree to have a direct access on the roundabout as
it represented a safety hazard.
In March 2012, the Ex-Sea Training School at Victoria Square was being considered. At a meeting
held in April 2012, it was decided to seek the views of the Traffic Management and Road Safety Unit
as the site is found in a congested area with the existence of Victoria Bus Station and narrow roads.
On 1 November 2012, MFRS agreed to take possession of the 16A30 of State Land at Jin Fei in view
of accommodating a Fire Station and the new Head Quarters and a Training Academy. The Colline
Monneron Site was rejected by the PPC in 2010 and revived by the ex-Government Fire Services in
2013. The project was submitted to the PPC, which stated that a feasibility study was required.
At a meeting held on 23 July 2013, mention was made that it was not convenient to relocate the PortLouis Fire Station at Jin Fei because the city of Port-Louis harbours intense trading activities which
imply all sorts of fire hazards. If the time taken to reach the spot is too long, this may result in
magnitude of fire taking shape becoming out of control and which in turn could lead to paralyzing the
capital completely. As of February 2015, the appropriate land was not yet identified.
Source: Selected Ministries and Government Departments
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Late Handing Over of Sites
There were also cases of lands not available on time to RDA that caused late handing over of
sites to Contractors for the construction of roads. This caused RDA to extend completion
dates of the projects and to incur additional costs. Examples are given in Table 3.
Table 3 Effect of Late Handing Over of Site

No. of
Days

Project
Phoenix-Beau Songes Link Road

Additional Costs
Rs

60

2,433,378

123

12,603,815

Port-Louis Ring Road

35

3,884,094

Construction of Bidirectional Lane from St Jean to Pont Fer

67

4,829,857

Schoenfeld Bypass II

63

4,941,482

Upgrading of Avenue des Tulipes

14

408,748

Goodlands Bypass

Source: RDA

Publication of Corrigenda
Compulsory acquisition under the LAA involves the publication of Notices by MHL as
required under Sections 6 and 8. However, for construction of roads, it is the practice for
RDA to carry out the preliminary survey of ownership on site, and title deed searches at the
Registrar General’s Department, and also to prepare Notices.
Owner identification is time consuming. At times, after the notices were issued, errors were
detected mainly regarding ownership of land and which required corrigenda to be published.
These corrigenda involved use of additional resources in terms of money and take additional
time for the republication of notices. In a few cases, MHL had to send several reminders for
correction and resubmission of notices for finalizing acquisition procedures (for example in
the case of the project for the Construction of Bidirectional Lanes from St Jean to Pont Fer,
and enlargement of Belle Vue Road B22).
During an examination of a sample of projects, several cases were noted where corrigenda
were published as illustrated in Table 4.

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Table 4 Number of Corrigenda Published

Project

No. of
Portions
332

No. of
Corrigenda
23

Phoenix – Beau Songes Link Road

256

13

Triolet Bypass

205

17

55

15

107

39

Terre Rouge - Verdun Link Road

Access Road to New Triolet Market
South Eastern Highway Project
Source: Land Acquisition and Project Unit

3.1.2 Absence of a Time Frame
The current LAA does not cater for the situations as described below. This resulted in lands
not available on time and at least cost.
Time for Reply from ex Valuation Department not Prescribed
Compensation payable is assessed by the ex Valuation Department. A request for assessment
is made to the Department in writing after the land has been transcribed, and as soon as a
reply is received at MHL, an offer is made to the land owner. However, the LAA does not
prescribe the time within which the Department should reply to MHL. In a few cases, replies
from the ex Valuation Department were received after more than five months, and this has
caused delay in the completion of the acquisition procedures. Examples of such cases are
given in Table 5.
Table 5 Reply from the Valuation Department Exceeding Five Months

Project
Enlargement of Pamplemousses-Grand
Baie Branch Rd
Construction of Triolet Bypass
Verdun-Trianon Link Rd
Construction of Bidirectional Lane from
St Jean to Pont Fer

Request for
Assessment

Reply Date

Months
Taken

07.12.10

19.05.11

6

Aug/Sep 09

Oct 09/ June 10

2-9

Jan 11/Apr 11

Sep 11/July 12

8 - 15

Aug 10

April 12

9

Source: Land Acquisition and Project Unit

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Time Lag for Reply From Former Landowners not Defined
The offer for compensation to the former landowners is made after the publication of Notice
under Section 8 of the LAA and transcription of the land. However, the time lag to accept or
reject an offer is not mentioned in the LAA. For example, one former landowner of a
particular project was offered Rs 898,000 for his land on 21 May 2002. On 15 May 2009, that
is some seven years later, the landowner made a counter claim of Rs 4,474,024 for the land.
After deliberations, the claim was reduced to Rs 1,691,700, and in March 2011, a sum of
Rs 2,937,949, including interest of Rs 1,246,249 (73 per cent of compensation) for the period
April 2002 to October 2010 had to be disbursed by MHL.
Payment of Interests
In some cases, MHL had to disburse additional funds in terms of interest payments on
compensation because of the time lag between the transcription date and the payment date.
The cases listed in Table 6 are examples where interests had been paid. The time lag ranges
between 311 to 543 days.
Table 6 Examples of Interest Paid
Date of
Transcription Appointment
of Notary

Project
Phoenix – Beaux
Songes Link Road
Verdun Trianon
Link Road
Port-Louis Ring
Road
Port Louis –
Plaisance Dual Way

No. of
Days

Compensation
Rs

Interest
Rs

05.01.10

21.04.11

472

22,000,000

2,275,945

11.04.11

05.10.12

543

35,200,000

4,189,282

16.07.10

03.08.11

384

18,000,000

1,514,959

19.07.11

25.05.12

311

1,180,000

80,434

Source: Land Acquisition and Project Unit

MHL contended that these interests were paid because the owners were deprived of their
rights on the acquired lands. However, the longer the time taken to pay the compensation, the
higher will be the interests. LAA does not provide for a time frame so as to reduce to a
minimum the interests.

3.2 Land Use
3.2.1 Statuses of Lands Vested
The requests for lands by the ex-Government Fire Services, now MFRS, to MHL were
initiated following a review carried out in 1991, whereby the construction of additional Fire
Stations was recommended. As regards MYS, the requests for lands were made for the
construction of sports infrastructures in view of promoting sports in different regions of the
country, and to cater for both national and international sports events. Details are given in
Table 7.
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Table 7 Examples of Vested Lands not yet Developed
Ministry

Vesting Date

MOLG –
MFRS

01.09.1999

MYS

Purpose
Fire Station at Montagne Blanche

Extent
(m2)
4,010

Cost
(Rs million)
1.2

06.05.2003

Fire Station at Goodlands

4,221

4.5

19.01.2005

Gymnasium at Lallmatie

9,554

5.7

15.04.2002

Swimming Pool at Camp Garreau

8,572

2.2

09.03.2010

Swimming Pool at Riviere Des Anguilles

8,006

1.3

Source: Selected Ministries and Government Departments

As indicated in Table 7, these lands were acquired and vested in the Ministries and
Government Departments on or before year 2010, and as of February 2015 they were not yet
developed. This was attributed to unavailability of funds to implement the projects.

3.2.2 Funds for Projects
MHL has taken good initiatives regarding confirmation from implementing agencies of
availability of funds before embarking on the acquisition process. However, the procedures
need to be revisited because one of the conditions is that the implementing agencies should
have land readily available for their projects before the proposals are submitted to the PPC.
Funds for the implementation of projects are disbursed by MOFED after it has been approved
by PPC. On the other hand, MPI has stated that unless there are appropriate funds available, it
will not embark on the conception of the preliminary drawings.
Presently, there is no mechanism at MHL to ensure that the requesting Ministries and
Government Departments have properly planned the projects implementation and that
appropriate structural designs for the buildings are available at the time of request (Case
Studies 3 to 7). In the case of the proposed Swimming Pool at Camp Garreau, MHL had to
spend additional resources for carrying out site surveys on several occasions, upon request of
MPI.
Case Study 3 – Construction of Rose Belle Fire Station
Two plots of land of 3,000 m2 and 1,200 m2 were vested on 16 July 1998 and 5 September 2001
respectively for the construction of the Rose-Belle Fire Station. The lands were acquired from the
Rose Belle Sugar Estate under the Sugar Industry Efficiency Act, which implied that no funds were
disbursed for acquiring the plots of land.
Acquisition and vesting procedures had to be carried out twice. This was attributed to the nonavailability of structural designs at the time of request, and as such, the extent of land needed for the
construction of the Fire Station could not be ascertained.
As of February 2015, the drawings for the Fire Station were completed, and tender procedures will be
launched during the year.

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Case Study 4 – Construction of Goodlands and Montagne Blanche Fire Station
Two portions of land of 4,010 m2 and 4,221 m2 costing some Rs 1.2 million and Rs 4.5 million were
vested in the years 1999 and 2003 respectively.
In August 2012, following a request from MPI, MHL submitted a detailed survey of the land and
location plan for both sites. MPI was requested to prepare the preliminary drawings and to submit a
cost estimate to seek funds from MOFED. As of August 2014, the preliminary drawings for the Fire
Station were not ready and reminders for that purpose were sent to MPI.
In its reply, MPI stated that it is awaiting completion of design for the Rose Belle Fire Station as same
might be used as a prototype for the new Fire Station at Montagne Blanche and Goodlands. As of
February 2015, the two plots of land were still not developed.

Case Study 5 – Proposed Swimming Pool at Camp Garreau
A plot of land of an extent of 9,999 m2 at Camp Garreau was compulsorily acquired in March 2002
and vested in MYS April 2002. In December 2004, the preliminary drawings were approved with
amendments, as it was proposed that the size of the swimming pool be increased from 25 metres x 20
meters to 25 meters x 25 meters in order to accommodate eight lanes instead of six lanes so as to meet
greater demand from the public.
In January 2005, MPI submitted estimates of cost for both six and eight lanes swimming pools of Rs
46.5 million and Rs 49 million respectively. In July 2010, the specifications of the swimming pool
were revised to 50 meters with eight lanes, and MPI was again requested to prepare preliminary
designs, drawings, scope of works and cost estimates.
In a letter dated 10 December 2010, MHL informed MYS that due to encroachment on the land, the
extent was reduced to 8,572 m2. In May 2011, MPI stated that the 50 metre swimming pool together
with ancillaries could not be adjusted on the given site.
In August 2011, in view of the site constraints, MYS proposed to go ahead with the construction of a
25 metre long swimming pool instead of a 50 metre one, and MPI was requested to prepare relevant
design and cost estimates to enable an early implementation of the project. In January 2012, MYS
requested MHL to acquire additional land to cater for an access to the site from the main road, and
for the construction of a kid’s pool. In March 2012, MPI worked out a tentative implementation
schedule of the project.
In April 2012, MYS submitted the Project Request Form (PRF) to MPI to be considered by the PPC.
The PRF made mention of the construction of a 50 metre swimming pool, inclusive of changing
rooms, showers, toilet, administrative blocks, a stand for spectators, parking facilities and toilets. The
estimated total cost was Rs 123 million. In August 2012, the proposal was approved by the PPC.
Although the PPC approved the construction of a 50 metre swimming pool, MYS decided in February
2014, to revise the size to 25 meters. As of February 2015, the plot of land was still not developed.

Acquisition and Use of Lands for Government Projects

17

Case Study 6 - Proposed Swimming Pool at Riviere des Anguilles.
In March 2010, a plot of land of an extent of 8,006 m2 was vested in MYS for the construction of a
swimming pool. MYS intended to proceed with the construction of a 50 metre swimming pool with
eight lanes, and in July 2010, requested MPI to prepare preliminary designs, drawings and scope of
works together with cost estimates.
The swimming pool would include a Grand Stand to accommodate 1,000 persons together with
parking facilities. Following a survey of the site, MPI informed that additional space would be
required for the provision of parking facilities. On 15 October 2010, MHL was requested to acquire
an additional extent of land. On 4 February 2011, a site of an extent of 1,500 m2 was identified and
agreed.
In May 2011, MYS informed MPI that due to constraints as regard the size of the site, it has decided
to go ahead with the construction of a 25 metre instead of a 50 metre swimming pool. As of February
2015, the plot of land was still not developed.

Case Study 7 - Multipurpose Gymnasium at Lallmatie
In January 2005, two portions of land of extent of 4,686 m2 and 4,868 m2 respectively were vested in
MYS for the construction of a Multipurpose Gymnasium at Lallmatie. In April 2006, it was agreed
that the project would be of international standard, including parking facilities.
In November 2007, MYS requested MPI to include a Boulodrome in the drawings and the
modifications to drawings were made in December 2007. In February 2008, MPI was requested to
proceed with the preparation of scope of works and breakdown of cost estimates. As of February
2015, the plot of land was still not developed.
Source: Selected Ministries and Government Departments

3.3 Recording of Vested Lands
It is important to have a complete and accurate record of all vested lands as it helps to
enhance and to support effective asset decision-making.

3.3.1 Recording of Vested Lands at MHL
The records of vested lands in Ministries and Government Departments kept at the LIU were
not complete. The current system of record-keeping at the LIU is not appropriate to cater for
the increase in number of plots of land acquired over the years. For example, the following
plots of land acquired and vested in NDU, as mentioned in Table 8, were not found in the
database. This was mainly attributed to insufficient input and monitoring controls.

Acquisition and Use of Lands for Government Projects

18

Table 8: Examples of Vested Lands not Recorded at LIU
Projects
Football Ground at Quatre Bornes
Cremation ground at Clavet
Extension of Trois Ilots Cemetery
Extension of Edgard Millen Government School

Extent (m2)

Vesting Date

10,552

18.01.13

1,913

10.05.13

11,448

06.06.12

584

01.07.13

Source: MPI-NDU

3.3.2 Land Administration, Valuation and Information Management System (LAVIMS)
Most of the components of the LAVIMS were completed in September 2011. Thereafter,
digitization process of properties deeds was initiated. It was decided that this process would
cover a period of past 30 years from the year 2008.
However, it was reported that all the deeds could not be uploaded onto the System, and this
was attributed to the absence of a valid site plan attached to the deeds. The System could not
also generate requested statistical reports and the input process excluded data on all State
Lands completely.
Digital State Land Register
Due to the limitations with the LAVIMS, MHL has initiated the Digital State Land Register
Project (DSLR). This Project would entail a detailed inventory of all State Lands.
Subsequently, in August 2012, the possibility of incorporating the DSLR into the LAVIMS
was discussed. It was decided to create a program within LAVIMS to cater for State Lands.
However, MHL would have to see if the contractor of LAVIMS would be agreeable to give
the relevant codes.
In October 2013, a meeting was held with an officer of the Central Informatics Bureau to
discuss on the drafting of the Terms of Reference for the setting up of a DSLR. It was
proposed that the tool would require to be well defined to meet all the requirements in respect
of retrieval of information for various purposes. It was agreed that the base should be
LAVIMS wherein the DSLR would only be a component.
On 25 August 2014, MHL sought advice from the Attorney General’s Office and MOFED as
to whether the former contractor of LAVIMS might be contacted directly without having
recourse to open tender exercise. As of February 2015, no reply was obtained.
I am given to understand that a high level committee will be set up to work on the technical
specifications of the DSLR

Acquisition and Use of Lands for Government Projects

19

3.4 Monitoring of Vested Lands by MHL
Several plots of land acquired on or prior to year 2010 have remained undeveloped.
Monitoring of these plots of land is important as MHL had disbursed funds to acquire same.
Information on the extent of lands acquired but not developed was not readily available at
MHL, as it does not have a complete database on the statuses of vested lands. It was not
clearly defined as who should ensure that lands vested were used on a timely basis and for the
intended purposes. Moreover, there were no established procedures for Ministries and
Government Departments to give feedback on the current statuses of the lands.

3.5 Land Acquisition Recording and Payment System
The land acquisition process consists of different steps from the time requests are received at
MHL to payment of compensation to beneficiaries. Bottlenecks at one or more steps result in
long delays in the acquisition of lands. Monitoring of the activities, based on appropriate and
readily available information, at each step is therefore essential for timely acquisition of the
land.
However, information relating to outstanding payments of compensation, outstanding
requests, outstanding cases to BOA and follow-up of replies from other stakeholders was not
readily available at the Land Acquisition and Project Unit. This did not help the Ministry to
monitor the different activities and to identify bottlenecks in the acquisition process. These
are illustrated in the examples below:
 Improvement of the Quartier Militaire Road (B6) and the construction of a Bypass at
Valetta SN11 – The Valuation Department recommended the case to be referred to the
BOA on 23 August 2011. It was only one year later, on 27 August 2012, that the Ministry
initiated action to refer the case to the BOA.
 Cremation Ground at Clavet - MHL initiated the purchase of land for the project in
January 2003. The acquisition procedures went on till July 2006. Thereafter, there was no
follow up on the project till June 2008, when NDU sought information from the Ministry
about the status of the project.

3.5.1 Present Acquisition and Payment Systems
Government acquires lands through either private agreements or compulsorily. Compulsory
acquisitions are carried out as per the provisions of the LAA. Presently, all requests for land
acquisitions from Ministries and Government Departments are directed to MHL and
payments to the land owners are effected by MHL from funds under its Vote. Under the
current system, Ministries and Departments disbursed funds under their Vote only for the
infrastructural works, whereas MHL paid for the land. There is no single Ministry/
Government Department accountable for the whole project, including the land.

Acquisition and Use of Lands for Government Projects

20

CHAPTER FOUR
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Several plots of land acquired and vested in the selected Ministries and Government
Departments on or prior to year 2010 were still not developed. Acquisitions were made
without a firm commitment to implement projects. Hence, the objectives set have not been
achieved. This has resulted from the absence of a proper mechanism at MHL to ensure that
the requesting Ministries and Government Departments had funds and structural designs
available at the time of requests. For few cases regarding construction of roads, MHL could
not ensure availability of the lands on time and in the most economical manner. Records of
vested lands and their current statuses at MHL were incomplete.
In the light of the audit findings and conclusion, hereunder are the recommendations
4.1 Land Acquisition
4.1.1 Funding
Consideration may be given for the requesting Ministry and Government Department to make
provision for the payment of compensation to land owners in their respective budgets. The
latter will be accountable for the implementation of the project, including the acquisition of
land. MHL will effect payment on receipt of a Departmental Warrant from them.

4.1.2 Time Frame for Acquisition and Reply
 MHL should attend to all requests for land acquisitions and ensure that acquisitions and
vesting are completed within a reasonable time. As regards the relocation of the two
existing Fire Stations at Quatre Bornes and Port Louis respectively, the appropriate lands
need to be identified and acquired
 Time frame for reply from beneficiaries also needs to be established.
Ministry’s Reply
MHL has considered the regularization of a time frame for the acceptance/ rejection of an
offer.

4.1.3 Time Frame For Payment of Compensation
Procedures need to be established to reduce the time lag between the transcription date and
payment date so as to minimize interests.

Acquisition and Use of Lands for Government Projects

21

4.1.4 Computerised Land Acquisition System
MHL needs to improve its monitoring and follow-up of requests at each step in the
acquisition process. This will require more up to date and readily available information. A
better approach could be to automate the land acquisition system. This would have the added
advantages, such as:
 Improving the time taken to complete the land acquisition process
 Records are updated automatically
 Keeping track of the land records will become less complicated
 Better monitoring and follow-up to eliminate bottlenecks

4.1.5 On-line Facilities of LAVIMS to RDA
Owner identification is time-consuming. To speed up procedures and to facilitate RDA to
search for ownership of land and title deeds, the latter needs to be provided with an access to
LAVIMS.
Ministry’s Reply
As RDA is not within GIN Network, no access could be established with LAVIMS server.
However, RDA’s officers are granted full access to LAVIMS at the Cadastre Unit to carry
out searches.

4.2 Land Use
4.2.1 Responsibility for Administration of Vested Lands should be Established
The role and responsibility of MHL and requesting Ministries and Government Departments
in respect of project implementation on vested lands should be clearly established. It should
also be defined who should ensure that lands vested are used on a timely basis and for the
intended purposes.

4.2.2 Preparation of Need Analysis Before Requesting for Land Acquisition
Need Analysis and project design and description should be prepared much ahead before
embarking on request for acquisition of land for a project. Appropriate extent according to
project specifications should be acquired so that there is judicious use of land.

4.2.3 Setting up of a Committee for Project Implementation
Ministries and Government Departments should have recourse to MPI for the preparation of
preliminary designs, drawings and scope of works together with cost estimates only after it is
Acquisition and Use of Lands for Government Projects

22

confirmed that MOFED would disburse the funds. A consultative platform needs to be set up
by the requesting Ministry/ Government Department bringing in all stakeholders so that there
is a constructive dialogue and everyone knows his role, responsibilities and obligations. This
will minimise any future unproductive vesting.
As regards lands vested and which have so far not been developed, Ministries and
Government Departments should liaise with MOFED as soon as possible to ensure that funds
would be disbursed for implementing the outstanding projects.
Land acquired and vested should be utilized within reasonable time. If not used, MHL should
be notified so that the lands can be retrieved and vested in other Ministries and Government
Departments to ensure their optimum economic use.

4.3 Recording and Monitoring of Vested Lands
A database of lands acquired is not enough to exercise proper control over land utilization. A
complete database on status of all lands vested in Ministries and Government Departments
should be built up. Ministries should then be requested to submit feedback at regular intervals
on implementation of projects. To ensure that Government funds are used effectively and
efficiently, it is vital that MHL maintains control on all State Lands. The DSLR should be
developed.
Ministry’s Reply
Action is being taken for updating the records.

Acquisition and Use of Lands for Government Projects

23

PERFORMANCE AUDIT REPORT

LEASE AND USE OF
GOVERNMENT OFFICE ACCOMMODATION

Ministry of Public Infrastructure and Land Transport

July 2015

CONTENTS
Page
ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS

iii
1

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1 Government Office Accommodation

3

1.2 Motivation

3

1.3 Audit Objective

3

1.4 Audit Scope

3

1.5 Selected Ministries

4

1.6 Methodology and Sources of Information

5

CHAPTER TWO: GOVERNMENT OFFICE ACCOMMODATION IN MAURITIUS
2.1 System Description for Renting GOA (New Request)

7

2.2 System Description for Renewal of Lease Agreement and/ or Renting of Additional
Space within Same Building
2.3 Responsibilities and Functions of Stakeholders

7

2.4 Audit Criteria

8

8

CHAPTER THREE: FINDINGS
3.1 Expenditure Relating to GOA

9

3.2 Initiatives Taken

12

3.3 Government Office Accommodation Policy

15

CHAPTER FOUR: CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
4.1 Conclusion

19

4.2 Recommendations

19

TABLES
1 International Benchmarking and Audit Criteria

6

2 Expenditure Incurred on Rent of GOA during the Past Five Years

9

3 Annual Cost per Employee – Year 2014

10

4 Occupancy Rate per Employee at some Ministries and Government Departments

11

APPENDIX
Clearances from Stakeholders before awarding Contract to Lessor

Lease and Use of Government Office Accommodation

21

i

Lease and Use of Government Office Accommodation

ii

ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS
GOA

Government Office Accommodation

GOMU

General Office Management Unit

MOFED

Ministry of Finance and Economic Development

MOHQL

Ministry of Health and Quality of Life

MPI

Ministry of Public Infrastructure

MFRS

Mauritius Fire and Rescue Service

ESD

Ministry of Renewable Energy and Public Utilities - Energy Services Division

NAO

National Audit Office – Mauritius

OAS

Office Accommodation System

OSHA

Occupational Safety and Health Act

PMO

Prime Minister’s Office

PPA

Public Procurement Act

PPO

Procurement Policy Office

TMRSU

Traffic Management and Road Safety Unit

TAS

Treasury Accounting System

Lease and Use of Government Office Accommodation

iii

Lease and Use of Government Office Accommodation

iv

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Government Office Accommodation (GOA) portfolio includes both owned and leased
premises and is considered a key factor in supporting the general administration and
operations, including client service functions in Ministries/ Government Departments. The
total expenditure on rental of office accommodation for the years 2010 to 2014 was some
Rs 2.8 billion.

Key Findings
 Rental of office accommodation remains a significant annual financial commitment for
both Ministries/ Government Departments. Most of the Government office
accommodation is concentrated in the region of Port Louis, where Government leases its
different office spaces located in some 50 privately owned buildings with an annual
commitment of some Rs 380 million in year 2014, that is, 76 per cent of the total
expenditure on lease in Mauritius.
 Cost per employee and occupancy rate are two metrics used to measure cost efficiency.
An analysis of the data available for a sample of Ministries and Government Departments
showed that there are significant variations in these metrics.
 Government decided in year 2000 to rationalize the use of office space for public services
through the setting up of a Unit, namely, the General Office Management Unit (GOMU)
under the aegis of the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, and Land Transport (MPI).
However, this Unit has not been able to take off. As of date (January 2015), MPI is still
committed to implement Government’s decision to set up GOMU.
 Government in the past came up with some construction projects, mainly to cut down
expenditure on rent, to relocate some offices away from the City in order to ease the then
growing traffic problem in Port Louis, and to decentralise the economy and business.
However, these projects did not take off although provisions for some of the projects
were made in the Capital Estimates.
 Government took the following initiatives to rationalise office accommodation, but was
unsuccessful in

setting up a database of all buildings, rented and owned

regrouping different Divisions of the same Ministry/ Government Department under
one roof

developing guideline on standard space requirement for various grades of officers

 GOMU was responsible to formulate policies and strategies regarding office
accommodation for both owned and leased buildings. However, pending the setting up of
GOMU, Government has not yet come up with a written accommodation policy paper,
accompanied with strategic and/ or long term plan.

Lease and Use of Government Office Accommodation

1

Conclusion
The cost of leased Government Office Accommodation is still significant, and is likely to
increase in future. The absence of an office accommodation policy and the current practice of
leasing office space do not help Ministries and Government Departments to be cost efficient.
There have been several initiatives taken by Government but these were not successfully
implemented.

Key Recommendations
 A long term GOA plan should be developed to rationalize office accommodation. The
plan should have clear objectives, strategies and measurable standards, along with
appropriate time frame for the implementation of the strategies.
 Government may consider a coordinated, whole-of-Government approach in the planning
and management of GOA. This should be accompanied with clearly defined role and
responsibility for the development of appropriate policy and strategies. All potential
strategies must be evaluated as a whole rather than separately in order to identify a set of
preferred strategies.
 Guidelines or directives on different aspects of office accommodation, such as area
occupied per employee and the rental cost per employee could be developed and
communicated to all Ministries/ Government Departments. A comprehensive database on
office accommodation can help in the development of these guidelines. The database can
include information, such as proportion of office owned and rented, location of buildings,
rates, number of employees housed and details of lessors. A database of all potential
landlords willing to lease their buildings could also be kept for greater efficiency.
All the above recommendations can be achieved by putting in place a mechanism that will
oversee all the activities related to Government Office Accommodation.

Lease and Use of Government Office Accommodation

2

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
1.1 Government Office Accommodation
Government Office Accommodation (GOA) portfolio includes both owned and leased
premises, and is considered a key factor for supporting the general administration and
operations, including client service functions, in Ministries and Government Departments.

1.2 Motivation
The rental of office accommodation which is a major expense for Government has been
going up constantly over the years. Since year 2000, Government decided to rationalize the
use of office space for public services by taking several initiatives, but was not successful.
On the other hand, the National Audit Office (NAO) conducted two Special Reviews on
rental of GOA in 1994-95 and 2005-06 respectively. Both reviews arrived at the same
conclusion that Government expenditure in connection with rental was on the high side as
Ministries and Government Departments were disbursing large amount of funds on rental of
office building.
This has prompted NAO to carry out this Performance Audit on GOA.

1.3 Audit Objective
The audit objective is to assess whether Government has adequate mechanism that ensures
office accommodation is leased and used in a rational way.

1.4 Audit Scope
1.4.1 Auditee
GOA is a subject that cuts across all the Ministries and Government Departments. The main
auditee is the Ministry of Public Infrastructure and Land Transport (MPI). The Ministry of
Finance and Economic Development (MoFED) is another auditee in so far as funding is
concerned.
For the purpose of this audit, Parastatal Bodies, Mauritius Embassies, High Commissions and
Tourist Offices found abroad were excluded.

1.4.2 Audit Object
The audit focused on the mechanism put in place for acquiring and utilising office space.

Lease and Use of Government Office Accommodation

3

1.4.3 Time Coverage
Financial records relating to the years 2010 to 2014 were examined. These five financial
years were considered for trend analysis, and ease of comparison because of the transition
from fiscal year to calendar year basis.

1.4.4 Geographical Area
This report examines the existing processes and procedures to acquire and use GOA in
Mauritius as a whole.

1.5 Selected Ministries
The following Ministries and Government Departments were visited:
Prime Minister’s Office (PMO)
Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MoFED)
Ministry of Public Infrastructure and Land Transport (MPI)
Ministry of Agro Industry and Food Security
Ministry of Fisheries
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade
Ministry of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare
Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations, Employment and Training (Labour Division)
Valuation Real Estate Consultancy Services (ex Valuation Department)
Procurement Policy Office (PPO), and
Electoral Commissioner’s Office
These Ministries/ Government Departments were selected on the following basis
 Offices of the Ministries and Government Departments in different buildings
 Responsibility for setting policy/ strategy, and
 Recent relocation of Ministries/ Government Departments in year 2010.
This sample, which represents some 30 per cent of the total number of Ministries and
Departments, allows a better understanding of the mechanism put in place for the acquisition
and use of GOA.

Lease and Use of Government Office Accommodation

4

1.6 Methodology and Sources of Information
1.6.1 Interviews
Interviews of officers from Senior and Middle Management, as well as Technical and
Support Staff were conducted across 10 Ministries/ Government Departments. The objective
was to better understand their roles, responsibilities and involvement in the acquisition and
use of GOA.

1.6.2 Files and Documents Reviewed
Files were reviewed to corroborate information obtained through interviews. Procedures
followed by Ministries/ Government Departments to shift to another location were also
assessed. Needs analysis, tender procedures, seeking clearances and approvals from other
Government Departments were some of the aspects that have been perused to ensure that
Ministries/ Government Departments comply with established procedures.
Files were also examined to obtain information regarding the terms of the lease, the areas
rented, number of employees housed in the building, rates per square metre and the purpose
for renting the building.
Ministries’ procurement plan, Programme Based Budget Estimates and tender documents
relating to the rental of new office were reviewed.
Rent paid for the past years were obtained through the Treasury Accounting System (TAS).

1.6.3 Relevant Acts
Particular attention was given to the three Acts listed below:
 The Public Procurement Act (PPA) was referred to obtain information on the functions
and powers of the PPO and the Central Procurement Board, the different types of
procurement methods that Ministries and Government Departments can resort to for the
procurement of works and services and the bidding process. However, in year 2012, the
PPA was amended, and procurement undertaken by any Public Body in respect of rental
of office space no longer falls under the purview of the Act.
 The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) was referred to understand the legal
framework in connection with the minimum space allowed per employee at their place of
work.
 The Landlord and Tenant (Amendment) Act was consulted to take cognizance of the
method of calculating any increase in rent regarding business premises let on or before
1 July 2005.

Lease and Use of Government Office Accommodation

5

1.6.4 International benchmarking
Benchmarking was carried out to understand how foreign countries and states are managing
their office accommodation. (Table 1 refers).
Table 1 International Benchmarking and Audit Criteria

Country

Policy
Papers

Occupancy
Rate per
Employee

Whole of
Government
Approach

Interior
Design
Policy

New Zealand

Canada

United Kingdom
New South Wales
(Australia)
South Australia

Western Australia

Victoria (Australia)
Queensland
(Australia)



Database

Centrally
Managed
Space



Source: NAO Analysis

Lease and Use of Government Office Accommodation

6

CHAPTER TWO
GOVERNMENT OFFICE ACCOMMODATION IN MAURITIUS
This Chapter describes the process for renting office space and renewing lease agreements, the
roles and functions of key players and the audit criteria used in pursuing the audit. It also
examines the expenditure incurred by Government with respect to GOA for the past five years.

2.1 System Description for Renting GOA (New Request)
The process of renting new accommodation is described below:
 Accounting Officers of Ministries/ Government Departments are allowed to make their
own arrangements to find out appropriate accommodation to house different sections of
their Ministries/ Departments. This is usually done through tender procedures
 The need for office accommodation is specified in an Annual Procurement Plan. This
involves the Public Body to engage in procurement planning with a view to achieving
maximum value for public expenditure
 The Ministry/ Department sends a draft press tender notice to MPI for vetting purposes
prior to the issue of a press communiqué
 Tenders are invited through press notice giving precise specifications of the requirements
on the building to be rented
 Bidders are required to use the Standard Bidding Documents as prescribed by the PPO
 A Bid Evaluation Committee is set up at the level of the Ministry/ Department to evaluate
the bids
 Clearances from different Public Bodies (Appendix ) should be obtained before the Letter
of Award is issued to successful bidder, and
 Lease Agreement is vetted by Attorney General’s Office before being signed by lessor
and lessee.

2.2 System Description for Renewal of Lease Agreement and/ or Renting of Additional
Space within Same Building
In case, a Ministry/ Government Department wishes to renew the lease for a further period or
to rent additional space within same building, clearances must be sought from the Public
Bodies which are listed below:
 MoFED - on the availability of funds, that is, the rental cost is met either within the
Ministry’s budget ceiling or additional funding is requested from MoFED
 Valuation Real Estate Consultancy Services - on the quantum of rent payable

Lease and Use of Government Office Accommodation

7

 Mauritius Fire and Rescue Service (MFRS) - on safety aspects
In year 2008, Ministries and Government Departments were advised by MPI to submit their
request along with the necessary clearances, as mentioned above, well before the expiry of
the lease agreement for further approval. Location of building, purpose, area to be occupied,
monthly rent and period of lease are some information that are also required when submitting
request to MPI. Finally, MPI gives its no objection, based on clearances obtained for the
renewal of lease agreement.

2.3 Responsibilities and Functions of Stakeholders
There are several stakeholders who are involved when a Ministry/ Government Department
decides to rent a new office space. In the first instance, the Ministry/ Department itself is
allowed to arrange for necessary office space. However, during the process, clearances from
several key players such as MFRS, Commissioner of Police, Ministry of Health and Quality
of Life, MPI and Valuation Real Estate Consultancy Services are required before awarding
the contract to the successful bidder.

2.4 Audit Criteria
The audit criteria are based on good practices related to policies and strategies identified in
foreign countries. Emphasis has been laid on four Anglo-Saxon countries which have
common socio-political heritage with Mauritius. (Table 1) They also have written
accommodation policy papers accompanied with strategies and long term plan.

Lease and Use of Government Office Accommodation

8

CHAPTER THREE
FINDINGS
This Chapter analyses the rent paid for office accommodation. It describes the initiatives taken,
as well as constraints faced by Ministries/ Government Departments in acquiring, utilising and
rationalizing office space in view of minimizing cost and delivering better services.

3.1 Expenditure Relating to GOA
The rent paid for office accommodation remains a significant annual financial commitment
for both Ministries and Government Departments. Expenditure incurred in respect of rental
during the past five years totalled some Rs 2.8 billion as shown in Table 2.
Table 2 Expenditure Incurred on Rent of GOA during the Past Five Years

Year

Rs

2010

514,334,348

2011

537,338,991

2012

573,325,860

2013

597,963,030

2014

630,836,639
2,853,798,868

Source: Treasury Accounting System and Statistics Mauritius

For year 2014, out of a total amount of some Rs 631 million spent, some Rs 501 million were
for office accommodation in Mauritius. This is likely to increase in the future.
One of the major factors that drive cost is the location of the offices. Our analysis of
expenditure for the year 2014 showed that most of the Government office accommodation is
concentrated in the region of Port Louis. Government leases its different office spaces located
in some 50 privately owned buildings in Port Louis, with an annual commitment of some
Rs 380 million, that is, 76 per cent of the total expenditure on office accommodation in
Mauritius. The remaining 24 per cent of the total amount was spent on office accommodation
scattered over the island. Most of these buildings have been rented since a long time, with
successive renewal of contracts, some for more than 10 years. At present, each Ministry and
Government Department manages its own office accommodation. This system has
encouraged the practice for most of the Ministries and Departments to locate in Port Louis.

Lease and Use of Government Office Accommodation

9

3.1.1 Variations in Cost per Employee

Cost per employee is one of the metrics used to measure the cost efficiency.
An analysis of a sample of rent paid by Ministries and Government Departments showed that
there are significant variations in the cost per employee as shown in the Table 3.
Table 3 Annual Cost per Employee – Year 2014

Ministries and Government Departments

Annual
Lease Costs
(Rs)

No. of
Annual Cost
Employees per Employee
(Rs)

Electoral Commissioner’s Office

9,493,428

76

124,913

Public Bodies Appeal Tribunal

1,089,851

15

72,655

16,200,000

163

99,386

MPU- Radiation Centre

1,234,800

14

88,200

Pay Research Bureau

2,115,816

46

45,996

Employment Relation Tribunal

4,836,624

22

219,846

Valuation Real Estate Consultancy Services

Source: TAS and PBB Estimates 2014

3.1.2 Variations in Occupancy Rate per Employee
Occupancy rate per employee is another measure used to assess the performance of any
public entity. It is another factor that drives cost of office accommodation. Presently,
Government does not have a prescriptive standard in occupancy rate per employee. An
analysis of a sample of Ministries and Government Departments showed significant
variations in occupancy rate per employee, and it ranged from 12 to 32 square metres during
2014. (Table 4 refers).

Lease and Use of Government Office Accommodation

10

Table 4 Occupancy Rate per Employee at some Ministries and Government Departments

Ministry /
Department

Location

Space Rented
(sq metre)

No of
Employees

Occupancy Rate
per Employee
(sq metre/staff)

Electoral
Commissioner’s
Office

Max City Bldg

2,402

76

32

Ministry of Gender
Equality, Child
Protection and
Family Welfare

Chan Sui Ko Bldg

1,858

126

15

Newton Tower

752

32

23

Ministry of
Fisheries

Trade and
Marketing Center
(Competent
Authority)

272

16

17

Trade and
Marketing Center
(One Stop Shop)

186

15

12

1,028

87

12

4,831

198

24

LIC Centre
Ministry of Labour, Victoria House
Industrial Relations,
Employment &
Training (Labour
Division)
Source: NAO Analysis

3.1.3 Scattered Offices
The activities of some Ministries and Government Departments have been growing over
time. Due to unavailability of the required space, they had to spread in different buildings to
meet their needs. This has resulted in variation in the cost per employee and occupancy rate
in the different buildings. This has also added to the administrative inconvenience when
operations are far from Head Office. Examples of Ministries housed in different buildings
include Ministry of Agro Industry and Food Security, and Ministry of Gender Equality, Child
Development and Family Welfare.

Lease and Use of Government Office Accommodation

11

3.2 Initiatives Taken

Government has taken several initiatives to address the problems of rising cost of renting
office space, but has not been successful in implementing same. These are described below:

3.2.1 Setting up of GOMU
In December 2000, Government agreed on the setting up of the Government Office
Management Unit (GOMU) as a permanent structure under the aegis of the MPI to look into
the rationalization of office space for the public service.
The functions of GOMU are as follows:
 To formulate policies and strategies regarding office accommodation for both owned and
leased buildings
 To develop and issue guidelines in respect of space requirements for various grades of
officers
 To issue standard lease agreement containing standard compulsory clauses, together with
provisions for other optional clauses
 To formulate norms and standards of office buildings
 To give final approval to the leasing of office accommodation
 To build up and maintain a database containing relevant details of all rented and owned
buildings
 To build up and maintain a database of all landlords willing to lease their buildings to
Government, and
 To deal with all requests relating to office accommodation received from Ministries and
Government Departments.
Up to now, Government has not been successful in setting up GOMU.
Ad–hoc Committees have been set up at the level of MPI to look into the setting up of
GOMU, and also to find ways and means to carry some of its functions. The Committees had
met on 23 occasions during the period 2001 to 2011.
The ad-hoc Committees took some decisions. However, they were either not fully
implemented or not put in practice by MPI as GOMU has not been set up. These are
 Developing draft guidelines in respect of the space requirements for various grades of
officers (Guideline for renting of private building for Government use)
 Developing a draft lease agreement duly vetted by the Attorney General’s Office

Lease and Use of Government Office Accommodation

12

 Inviting Ministries and Government Departments to submit information required to build
up a database
 Inviting potential landlords willing to lease their buildings to Government for use as
office accommodation;
 Developing an Office Accommodation System, on a standalone basis.
I am given to understand that MPI still intends and willing to set up GOMU. In this context,
as of October 2014, a few officers were assigned to work on GOMU.
Despite the fact that GOMU has not been set up, some stakeholders took some other
initiatives to rationalise office space used by Ministries and Government Departments, but
these were however not successfully implemented. These initiatives are described in the
paragraphs below.

3.2.2 Initiatives to Rationalize GOA
Leasing versus Ownership
The issue of leasing versus ownership is influenced by several factors, such as Government
objectives, financial analysis, and economic development.
The New Zealand Property Management Guidelines 2012 stated that the cost benefit of
leasing versus owning its own office space must be robustly considered when acquiring
space. Similarly, according to Queensland Policy Guidelines 2009, when making decisions
regarding the acquisition of an asset, public sector entities should satisfy themselves that the
best-cost alternative is used.
Government in the past came up with the decision to construct its own buildings, mainly for
the following reasons:
 to cut down expenditure on rent
 to relocate some offices away from the City in order to ease the then growing traffic
problem in Port Louis, and
 to decentralise the economy and business
Mention was made of the construction of some administrative blocks, such as Finance House,
Agriculture House, Education House, Marine House and Youth Head Quarters to
accommodate offices. Provisions for some of the projects were made in the Capital
Estimates, but these projects remained at conceptual stage. This explains why, most of the
administrative blocks are still being leased in private owned buildings.
However, two of the disadvantages of leasing are the exposure to market rent fluctuations and
rent increases after agreed time period. On the other hand, construction involves structural
and organisational issues regarding property management and maintenance. It is important to
consider these issues when developing policy and strategy in relation to lease or buy decision.

Lease and Use of Government Office Accommodation

13

Database
A database generating meaningful information would operate as a management tool to assist
in decision making.
In year 2010, MOFED and MPI, through surveys, initiated action to set up a database of all
buildings, rented and owned, forming part of GOA. The database was considered necessary
in order to better manage office space in the public sector. At the request of MPI, the Central
Information System Division, in year 2010, finalized the development of an Office
Accommodation System (OAS) to accommodate data on office accommodation. Moreover,
in April 2013, MoFED intended to set up a database for potential bidders in respect to rental
of office spaces. The aim was to ensure transparency and a reasonable time frame for the
procurement.
MoFED and MPI have in their custody a list of buildings rented and owned by Government,
including the area occupied, number of employees and rent paid by each Ministry and
Department as of 2011 and 2012 respectively. The responsibility of keeping database was
assigned to GOMU. However, as at time of audit (January 2015), neither a database of
potential landlords nor of office space rented and owned by Government has been
established. The OAS developed in year 2010 at the request of MPI has never been put in use
as GOMU has not been set up.
Consolidation of Ministries and Government Departments Under one Roof
In year 2010, PMO and MoFED took laudable initiatives separately towards regrouping
different Divisions of the same Ministry under one roof. PMO, in August 2010, carried out a
survey. The aim was to regroup different divisions of the same Ministries, which are scattered
in different buildings, under one roof, while at the same time making maximum use of
Government owned spaces. In December 2010, MoFED, also proposed to develop
appropriate policy measures to rationalize office space used by Ministries and Government
Departments with a view to bringing efficiency gains and centralizing as far as possible
different Units of same Ministry under one roof.
Attempts have been made in this direction by both MOFED and PMO. However, the idea of
consolidation did not materialize.
Procurement Regulations on Office Space
The Public Procurement Act (PPA) was amended in December 2012 whereby office
accommodation no longer falls under its purview. Subsequently, in January 2014, the PPO
prepared procurement regulations on rental of office space. As of date (March 2015), the
regulations have remained at draft stage. Pending the finalisation of the draft, PPO has since
January 2013 been guiding Ministries and Government Departments on a case to case basis
on procurement of rental of office space.
Standard Occupancy Rate per Employee
A standard occupancy rate per employee helps to reduce rental costs and lower expenses for
office fit out, electricity, security and maintenance. Prescriptive space allocation standard
maximises an agency's capacity to determine its own internal office layout requirements. By

Lease and Use of Government Office Accommodation

14

calculating accurate occupation density, prime consideration is given in determining the cost
of offices and the potential for savings.
In year 2011, MPI prepared a draft guideline on standard space requirement for various
grades of officers. As at time of audit (January 2015), the draft has not yet been finalized. In
other countries, standards set form part of policy paper, and this is considered in carrying
needs assessment when office space is required.

3.3 Government Office Accommodation Policy
A GOA policy is important as it ensures that Ministries and Government Departments make
office accommodation decisions in the best interest of Government. However, presently,
Government does not have an accommodation policy accompanied with strategies and plans.
All the four Anglo-Saxon countries we benchmarked with have a written accommodation
policy accompanied with strategies and long term plan. On the other hand, a whole of
Government approach is being adopted by several countries and states to develop strategies
and plans. (Table 1 refers). The objective of a well-functioning strategies and long-term
accommodation planning process is to ensure the availability of the right facilities at the right
time in the most economic manner to meet existing and projected demands. It also ensures
the optimal use of existing facilities.
The foreign countries accommodation policy includes, inter alia, the process to acquire
office, standard occupancy rate per employee, interior design policy, whether space has to be
centrally managed, setting up of a database and whole of government approach (Table 1). In
the local context, these issues, except for the interior design policy and whole of Government
approach, were already contemplated by Government. However, they were not fully
implemented. In addition, they did not form part of a policy document as compared to other
countries.
The adoption of the above mentioned strategies by some foreign countries has resulted in
some benefits as illustrated in Case Studies 1 to 3.

Lease and Use of Government Office Accommodation

15

Case Study No 1 - New Zealand
The Property Management Centre of Expertise of New Zealand developed a Property Management
Guidelines for Office Space in August 2012. The Guidelines refer to principle on Government Office
Accommodation policy, Whole-of-Government Approach, Office Space Occupancy Density Goal and
Interior Design Policy. In 2013, the Crown Office Estate of New Zealand reported that the adoption of
these guidelines started to bring the expected benefits. For example
 The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s agreement for its National Office
resulted in baseline savings of $60.62 million over 20 years, cost avoidance of $187.98 million
compared to the projected status quo, and a space reduction of 36 per cent (32,906 m2 to 20,904
m2). This was an area per person reduction from 21.4 m2 to 13.6 m2
 The Ministry of Social Development’s agreement for its National Office would achieve a
reduction of 13 per cent in its property footprint (from 27,788 m2 to 24,255 m2), an occupancy
density of 12.8 m² per person from 17 m2, and achieves cost avoidance of $6.10 million compared
to the projected status quo.
 Crown Law co-located with the Ministry of Justice, utilising surplus space and resulting in shared
facilities and a reduction in the overall Crown footprint of 4,800 m2.
Source: New Zealand Crown Office Estate Report 2013

Case Study No 2 – United Kingdom
The UK NAO Report 2007 – “Improving the Efficiency of Central Government’s Office Property”
assesses whether departments are effectively managing and achieving value for money from their own
office space. It considers whether departments have the necessary systems in place to ensure their
agencies and Arm’s Length Bodies also deliver value for money.
The Office of Government Commerce (OGC), through its High Performing Property initiative
launched in November 2006, is looking to improve efficiency from the civil property estate and
realise £1 billion to £1.5 billion of annual efficiency savings by 2013.
The savings are expected to be generated from four sources:
 reducing the amount of space occupied (£625 million per year);
 increasing and improving space utilisation in retained property assets (£518 million per year);
 improving the procurement of facilities management contracts (£27 million per year); and
 improving the procurement of leasehold contracts (£174 million per year).
OGC is taking a proactive role in encouraging departments to take a strategic approach to the use of
property, including office property, to improve effectiveness and reduce costs.
According to the report, configuration of space, whether cellular offices or open plan predominate, the
ratio of workstations per person and the adoption of flexible working practices, such as job-sharing,
hot-desking1 and home working all have an impact on the amount of space required and therefore on
the amount of expenditure incurred.
Source: NAO UK Report – Improving the Efficiency of Central Government Office Property
1

Hot-desking - Desks that are shared, that allow an organisation to increase the number of people supported by
a given building.

Lease and Use of Government Office Accommodation

16

Case Study No 3 - New South Wales
As at 2003, the New South Wales (NSW) Government occupied approximately 1.2 million square
metres of office accommodation, housing some 60,000 employees at a cost of around $300 million
per annum.
In 1997, the Government Office Accommodation Reform Program was implemented, primarily to:
- Ensure that agency accommodation requirements are consistent with their service delivery needs.
- Reduce the average utilisation of office space across the NSW public sector from around 24 m2 per
employee at that time.
- Reduce exposure to increasing leasing costs. Accommodation costs are one of an organisation’s
highest recurrent expenditure items.
- Ensure that there was a coordinated approach to planning and acquiring office accommodation.
In 2005, Government adopted a new target of 17 m2 per employee across the whole portfolio, and
retained the target of 15 m2 per employee for new accommodation.
The program has resulted in a reduction of the average utilisation of office space to 17.44 m2 per
employee in 2006, which is equivalent to a reduced rental exposure of $138.6 million per year
currently, and accumulated savings of $987 million since 1995.
Since 2005, the Government Asset Management Committee has adopted a revised agency portfolio
average space use target of 17 m2 per person. All new fit-outs or major refurbishments are to be
designed to achieve a space use of no more than 15 m2 per person.
Source: Total Assets Management Guidelines of New South Wales

Lease and Use of Government Office Accommodation

17

Lease and Use of Government Office Accommodation

18

CHAPTER FOUR
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
4.1 Conclusion
Office accommodation supports operations in all Ministries/ Government Departments and is
a key component of the Government’s objective to make optimum use of limited resources to
provide core services.
The cost of leased Government Office Accommodation is still significant, and is likely to
increase in future. The absence of an office accommodation policy and the current practice of
leasing office space do not help Ministries and Government Departments to be cost efficient
in this area. There have been several initiatives taken by Government to put in place an
adequate mechanism to ensure office accommodation is acquired and use in a rational
manner. However, these initiatives were not successfully implemented due to the absence of
a whole of Government approach, strategy and long term plans. Also, the initiatives taken did
not form part of a policy document compared to some other foreign countries.

4.2 Recommendations
4.2.1 Long Term Planning
A long term GOA plan should be developed to rationalize office accommodation. The
developed GOA plan should have clear objectives, strategies and measurable standards,
together with appropriate time frame to undergo changes. Means of improving on these
developed standards could be found over time, for example, reduction in the area occupied
per employee across Ministries/ Government Departments, and reduction in accommodation
cost per employee.

4.2.2 Whole-of-Government Approach
A coordinated, whole-of-Government approach is required in the planning and management
of GOA. The role and responsibility for the development of appropriate policy, strategies and
policies should be clearly defined. All potential strategies must be evaluated as a whole
rather than separately in order to identify a set of preferred strategies. Cost and benefits of
each strategy should be worked out. This holistic approach will prevent conflict between
potential strategies identified, and this will maximise benefits to the agency while minimising
costs in terms of time and money.

4.2.3 Policies or Directives
Policies or directives could be established and communicated, which could include, the
following issues:
 whether Government offices should be located in core or non core areas of Cities

Lease and Use of Government Office Accommodation

19

 which Ministries/ Government Departments should be housed in Government owned
building, for instance, for security aspects, and which in private buildings
 whether all Sections of a particular Ministry/ Government Department be housed in the
same building for administrative purpose and service delivery
 appropriate office set up to be adopted to minimize cost while taking into consideration
security aspects, and
 any other issues deemed appropriate by the Government

4.2.4 Database on Office Accommodation
All the above could be facilitated with the existence of a proper database. A comprehensive
database on the proportion of office owned and rented, including location, area rented or
owned, rates, the number of employees housed and details of lessors should be established.
The database will be used to calculate the actual area occupied per employee, the rental cost
per employee and cost of the actual set up and subsequently use these data to develop
standards. When setting the standards, the requirement of the OSHA (which requires that the
space allowed for each employee should not be less than 11 cubic metres), information and
communication technology, security arrangements, the position occupied by the employee
and the nature of the business (as a strategy may not be necessary applied to all type of
businesses) must be taken into consideration. A database of all potential landlords willing to
lease their buildings could also be kept for greater efficiency.
All the above recommendations can be achieved by putting in place a mechanism that will
oversee all the activities related to Government Office Accommodation.
Ministry’s Replies
 A software to manage the database has been nearly developed by the Central Informatics
Bureau, whereas a Model Lease Agreement, together with its guidelines has been
prepared and is in use.
 The setting up of a proper GOMU will improve long term planning by rationalizing the
allocation of office accommodation, and foster a more efficient service delivery, provided
that dedicated resources are made available.

Lease and Use of Government Office Accommodation

20

Appendix
Clearances from Stakeholders before awarding Contract to Lessor
Stakeholders

Responsibilities

Mauritius Fire and
Rescue Service
(MFRS)

MFRS issues a Fire Certificate to the owner of the building as long
as the provisions of the Occupational Health and Safety Act are
complied with. Prior to the occupation of the building, the layout
plan showing the internal partitioning of the rented floor must be
submitted to MFRS for approval.

Valuation Real Estate
Consultancy Services

The Valuation Real Estate Consultancy Services carries out
inspection and measures the net useable floor area, and also assesses
whether the proposed monthly rent is reasonable

Ministry of Health
and Quality of Life
(MoHQL)

MoHQL gives clearances for renting office space for the purpose of
accommodating staff on the following conditions:
 Continuous and potable water supply are provided
 Building is adequately lighted and ventilated
 Provision for the proper collection and disposal of solid waste is
made,
 Necessary clearances
authorities.

are

obtained

from

other

relevant

Police Force

The Police Force gives clearance in respect of security of the
building.

Traffic Management
and Road Safety Unit
(TMRSU)

TMRSU provides clearances in respect of renting of office space on
the following conditions:
 Adequate arrangements are made by the Ministry concerning
parking space
 Ministry/ Government Department should not assume that street
parking space will be available or made available, in case its
requirements for parking space are not satisfied within the rented
building, and
 All necessary clearances are obtained from other Ministries and
Institutions.

Ministry of
Renewable Energy
and Public Utilities Energy Services
Division (ESD)

ESD will ensure that the right connected load of electricity is made
available for all items of equipment and electrical appliances that the
Ministry/Government Department wishes to utilise. It also provides
clearance on condition that the Ministry/Government Department
ensures that all final circuits are being protected by residual current
devices.

Lease and Use of Government Office Accommodation

21

Appendix (continued)
Stakeholders

Responsibilities

Ministry of Public
Infrastructure and
Land Transport (MPI)

MPI carries out inspection of the building to ensure that there are no
structural defects, that it is sound and fit for renting, and partitioning
and other relevant works are completed.

Ministry of Finance
and Economic
Development
(MoFED)

MoFED has no objection for the renting of office space, provided
that all other clearances have been obtained.

Lease and Use of Government Office Accommodation

22

PERFORMANCE AUDIT REPORT

MAINTENANCE OF GOVERNMENT PRIMARY
AND
SECONDARY SCHOOL BUILDINGS

Ministry of Education and Human Resources

July 2015

CONTENTS
LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS

Page
iii

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

1

CHAPTER ONE- INTRODUCTION

5
5
5
5
5
6
6
7
8

1.1 Background
1.2 Motivation
1.3 Audit Objective
1.4
1.5
1.6
1.7
1.8

Audit Scope
Audit Design
Audit Methodology
Assessment Criteria
Data Validation Process

CHAPTER TWO – DESCRIPTION OF THE AUDIT AREA

2.1
2.2
2.3
2.4
2.5
2.6

Maintenance
Maintenance of Schools at MEHR
Other Key Players and their Activities
Identifying Maintenance Needs, Planning and Monitoring
Process Description
Budgeting and Funding

CHAPTER THREE – FINDINGS

3.1 State of Schools
3.2 Maintenance Strategy
3.3 Periodic Review and Records of Conditions of Buildings
3.4 Annual Maintenance Works Programme and Monitoring of Works
3.5 Budgeting and Monitoring
3.6 Maintenance Works
3.7 Maintenance Works funded by PTA Special Grant
3.8 Zone Maintenance Unit
3.9 IMU and MPI Maintenance Works
3.10 Ten Year Guarantee Certificate for Waterproofing Works
3.11 Cleaning of School Premises, Toilets and Roofs
CHAPTER FOUR – CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

4.1 Conclusions
4.2 Recommendations

Maintenance of Government Primary and Secondary School Buildings

9
9
9
10
11
11
15
17
17
18
18
19
19
22
24
24
27
33
37
39
39
40

i

Page
FIGURES

1 Audit Questions
2 Reporting Leakages to Waterproofing Contractor

6
36

TABLES

1
2
3
4

Units Carrying out Maintenance Works within MEHR
Steps Leading to Issue of Work Order and MPI’s Intervention until end of Works
Procurement Process at Different Levels
Funds Available and Spent (all four Zones)

5
6
7
8

Funds Allocated for Maintenance Works in 2014
Funds Applied for and Approved under “Upgrading of Schools”
Priority Works to be carried out by DC Outstanding as at December 2014
Backlogs in Minor Maintenance Works in Zone 1 and 2

9
10
11
12

IMU Maintenance Works in Zone 1
IMU Maintenance Works in Zone 2
Delayed Response and Ineffective Remedial Works in Zone 1
Lapse of Guarantee and New Waterproofing Works

10
13
14
20
21
21
23
23
28
29
35
36

APPENDIX

Appendix

Assessment Criteria-Specifications for Selected Works

Maintenance of Government Primary and Secondary School Buildings

45

ii

ABBREVIATIONS
DC

District Contractors

GS

Government School (Primary)

IMU

Infrastructure Management Unit

IoW

Inspector of Works

MEHR

Ministry of Education, Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Science

MPI

Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Land Transport and Shipping

MU

(Zone) Maintenance Unit

NAO

National Audit Office

PPA

Public Procurement Act

PPO

Procurement Policy Office

PTA

Parent Teacher Association

SSS

State Secondary School

TO

Technical Officer

WO

Work Order

Maintenance of Government Primary and Secondary School Buildings

iii

Maintenance of Government Primary and Secondary School Buildings

iv

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
In line with the Ministry of Education, Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Science
(MEHR) objective to achieve a quality education for all, it is imperative that the quality of
learning environment and infrastructure be of a good standard in educational institutions.
The Ministry incurred some Rs 300 million on maintenance of School Buildings during the
period 2012 to 2014.
Reports from the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Land Transport and Shipping (MPI),
indicated that defects identified in a few School Buildings were attributable to lack of
maintenance after construction stage, among others. The National Audit Office (NAO), in a
previous Performance Audit, also, found that repairs and maintenance of School buildings
were carried out as and when required. The lack of proper maintenance in Schools is a major
issue as:
 value for the money invested in constructions is not being obtained,
 the benefits of the buildings are not being reaped over the entire duration of their lives, and
 inconvenience to the School community is caused.
It is against this background that the NAO carried out this Performance Audit to assess
whether the MEHR has an appropriate system to maintain its School buildings in a usable
condition. Processes and practices run and operated by the Zones’ Maintenance Units (MU),
Infrastructure Management Unit (IMU) and the MPI were examined. The audit focussed on
building infrastructures. Mechanical and electrical systems, equipment, furniture and grounds
were excluded.

Key Findings and Conclusions
 The Ministry does not have a proper maintenance strategy. Maintenance carried out was
mainly corrective, with little emphasis on preventive maintenance.
 There were backlogs on both major and minor maintenance works. These were mainly
attributed to delay in the appointment of District Contractors (DCs), inadequate planning
and monitoring on the implementation of the works.
 Financial resources available in recent years were not fully used. Substantial funds were
unspent at year end and lapsed. Yet, more than 50 per cent of prioritized works in both
Zones 1 and 2 were still outstanding at year end.
 Maintenance works were not adequately monitored. There was insufficient supervision on
jobs examined. This affected the delivery to time, cost and quality. No annual plans were
drawn to implement works. Progress of work was not adequately monitored by IMU and
Zone MU.

Maintenance of Government Primary and Secondary School Buildings

1

 Substantial grants were paid to Schools Parent Teacher Associations (PTA) and Zone

Directorates approved maintenance projects funded by same. However, a system for their
supervision at Ministry’s level to ensure that these jobs meet a minimum standard was not
in place.
 The Ministry is not doing enough to make an optimum use of its available labour
resources for maintenance activities. No benefits were derived from part of labour hours
paid for at Zone level.
 For IMU and MPI works, proper agreements were drawn with Contractors. However,
compliance with standards and specifications for works, appropriate level of
workmanship, and, thereby, quality of works were not sufficiently ensured through an
adequate level of supervision on most jobs examined. Insufficient documentation during
the execution phase of some of IMU and MPI works was a recurrent feature.
 The procurement system for materials, works and services is well established, followed
and that allowed resources to be acquired at the least cost by the Ministry. The late or
non-appointment of MPI’s DCs, in recent years, had a negative effect. Priority jobs could
not be carried out and available funds for these jobs could not be spent and lapsed.
 Guarantee Certificates for waterproofing works examined did not comply with

contractual requirements. Repairs to defects by Contractors, within the guarantee period,
were not prompt and complete. Several Schools experienced continued leakages that
affected the smooth running of classes during the warranty periods. Conditions for the
guarantee to stand were not met by Schools and this caused the warranties to lapse.
Benefits of the warranties were not effectively derived. Costly new waterproofing works
had to be undertaken anew at some Schools.
Key Recommendations
The following are recommended:
 Preventive Maintenance
The Ministry should move towards preventive maintenance by using existing labour
resources. Checklists for all areas of a building to be inspected should be developed and
personnel of Zones’ Maintenance Unit should be trained to carry out inspections.
 Budgeting
The Ministry, IMU and Zone Directorates should ensure that maximum use is made of
voted provisions through proper planning and monitoring. Zone Directorates should
monitor their budgetary allocations through updated financial status reports at each
Infrastructure Committee Meeting. This will help to ensure funds are available on time
for all prioritised jobs through appropriate requests for reallocations.

Maintenance of Government Primary and Secondary School Buildings

2

Maintenance Works Programme and Monitoring of Works
The Ministry should ensure that Zone Directorates submit their Implementation
Programmes/Plans and Quarterly Progress reports for the prioritised works. The plans
should set time frames and define resource needs for each project. Quarterly progress
reports should reflect the status of execution of the works in relation to time, cost and
quality. Quarterly meetings between IMU and each Zone should be held to monitor and
follow up projects. Constraints and/or deviations from plans should be identified and
addressed promptly.
 Maintenance Unit (Zone Level)

Proper plans that allow for monitoring and measurement of performance should be
drawn. Any variance between actual time taken (worked out from Job Sheets) and
preset time on plan should be investigated.

Monitoring and supervision of works should be adequately carried out so that tasks
are fully completed to time, at reasonable cost and be of acceptable quality.

The Ministry should monitor the implementation of the plan to ensure maximum use
of available man hours. It may also consider having recourse to “Task Work”, as
described in the Pay Research Bureau (PRB) Report.

A system to monitor the quality of works undertaken by PTAs should be set up.

 IMU and MPI Works
IMU and MPI should ensure that works are executed as per requirements of the contract.
This can be done through effective monitoring and supervision, and adequate contract
management. During the execution phase, the good practice, to have proper
documentation (including timely filing) on all works carried out, should be adopted.
 Guarantee Certificate
MPI should consider drafting an adequate and enforceable Guarantee Certificate with
proper wording, setting the responsibilities and liabilities of parties involved, to be
included in contracts drawn with its selected DCs. Pending this arrangement, MPI should
report DCs, whose waterproofing Sub-Contractors failed to attend promptly and
completely to repairs under warranty, to the Procurement Policy Office for necessary
action.
MPI should seek legal advice on the validity of guarantees already submitted.

Maintenance of Government Primary and Secondary School Buildings

3

Maintenance of Government Primary and Secondary School Buildings

4

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background
School buildings are considered one of the most important assets of the Ministry of
Education, Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Science (MEHR), and it is important
that they are properly maintained. Over the years, the Ministry has invested significantly in
the maintenance of these buildings. Good practices on assets management involve the
planning, acquisition, maintenance and disposal of assets with due regard to economy,
efficiency and effectiveness, as well as full compliance with all applicable Government
regulations. In the Performance Audit at the MEHR carried out in 2009, the different aspects
on planning and construction of School buildings1 were examined. This Report examined the
system on the “Maintenance of Government Primary and Secondary School Buildings”.

1.2 Motivation
Every year, maintenance of Schools costs the Ministry some Rs 100 million.
Reports, from the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Land Transport and Shipping (MPI),
identified defects in a few School Buildings. These were attributed to inadequacies during
construction stage and lack of maintenance thereafter. In the previous Performance Audit
Report, mention was made that repairs and maintenance of School buildings were carried out
as and when required.
It is against this background that the National Audit Office (NAO) carried out this
Performance Audit on the “Maintenance of Government Primary and Secondary School
Buildings”.

1.3 Audit Objective
The objective of the audit was to assess whether the MEHR has an appropriate system to
maintain its School buildings in a usable condition.

1.4 Audit Scope
This Report focussed on the maintenance activities at Secondary and Primary School
Buildings in Mauritius. The processes and practices, relating to planning, execution,
monitoring and supervision of maintenance works, were examined. Maintenance of
mechanical and electrical systems, equipment, furniture and grounds was excluded.

1

The Performance Audit Report, “Efficiency and Effectiveness of the School Building Programme” was issued
in 2010.

Maintenance of Government Primary and Secondary School Buildings

5

The period under review covered the years 2012 to 2014, and status of selected projects
examined were followed up to April 2015.

1.5 Audit Design
The main audit question was based on the requirement to carry out timely maintenance at
least cost and of reasonable quality. Four sub-questions examined issues relating to
maintenance strategy, planning and prioritisation, procurement practices, resource utilisation,
monitoring and supervision of works, and contract management. The questions developed are
shown in Figure 1.
Is an appropriate system for maintaining School buildings in place to ensure that maintenance
activities are carried out to time, cost and quality?

Does MEHR have
a building
maintenance
strategy which
supports planning
and prioritisation of
maintenance
activities, among
others?

Have appropriate
procurement
procedures and
practices been
applied to
mobilise
resources?

Have
maintenance
activities been
adequately
supervised and
monitored, and
contracts
properly
managed?

Are
maintenance
personnel
resources of
the Ministry
being
efficiently
used?

Figure 1: Audit Questions

1.6 Audit Methodology
The audit work was conducted in accordance with the International Standards for Supreme
Audit Institutions (ISSAI). The audit team collected data through document reviews,
interviews and inspections. During site visits, the team was accompanied by technical staff
who explained technical aspects of works executed. The team reviewed documents for
information about the strategies, programmes, systems, procedures, and funds spent on the
maintenance of School building infrastructures, and interviewed key personnel of the MEHR,
Zones and its Units responsible for maintenance, such as the Infrastructure Management Unit
(IMU) and Zone Maintenance Units (MU). It also discussed with key staff of the Civil
Engineering Section of the MPI which carries out maintenance, repairs and rehabilitation of
all Government buildings.
Non-statistical sampling was used in the choice of two out of four Zones, and Schools within
the selected Zones.

Maintenance of Government Primary and Secondary School Buildings

6

1.6.1 Choice of Two Zones
All four Zones have similar organisational structures and carry alike maintenance activities.
Similarities in operation, funding arrangement and maintenance personnel also exist.
Differences centre on number, age, type of construction and type of Schools, student
population and physical environment. More than 50 per cent of the Ministry’s maintenance
budget is consumed by IMU and MPI driven works. The balance is shared among the Zones
on the basis of priorities set for each Zone. Zone 1 has largest number of Schools, and
average annual maintenance expenditure. Zone 2 ranks second under these criteria. Based on
the above, Zones 1 and 2 were chosen.

1.6.2 Choice of Schools within Zones 1 and 2
Schools have different characteristics that influence the demand for maintenance activities to
be carried out thereat. Criteria taken into consideration for the selection of Schools were
geographical location, climatic condition, type and age of buildings, maintenance cost and
School population. 14 Schools in Zone 1 and 12 in Zone 2 were selected; including Schools
where execution of maintenance projects was ongoing.

1.7 Assessment Criteria
To assess the School building maintenance system, criteria were drawn from various sources
such as:
 Legislation - Public Procurement Act
 Government Guidelines and Procedures - These regulate administrative operations within
the Ministry and interaction with other Government bodies
 Contract Documents - These included the Procurement Policy Office (PPO) and FIDIC
General Conditions of Contract
 Government of Mauritius Standard Specifications issued by MPI - These state the
minimum standards to be observed for materials used and workmanship during execution
of the works. At each step during execution, clear technical requirements are also
specified. A summary of the specifications pertaining to important maintenance works
covered in this Report is given in the Appendix.
 Pay Research Bureau Reports - The Reports detail the conditions of service and salary
structure for Public Officers
Generally accepted maintenance management practices2 were also used as guidance. These
include

2

A number of literatures on maintenance contain almost similar practices. The main documents consulted were:
Guidelines for Physical Asset Management issued in 2006 by the then Management Audit Bureau (now Office
of Public Sector Governance) and Maintenance Management Framework, Queensland Government, Australia.

Maintenance of Government Primary and Secondary School Buildings

7

 preparation of a maintenance strategy, incorporating a balance of planned maintenance
(preventive and corrective) and unplanned maintenance (reactive and emergency),
 establishment of a periodic review and record of conditions of buildings,
 formulation of a strategic maintenance plan that reflects maintenance needs over the
immediate, medium and long terms,
 production of an annual maintenance works programme based on condition assessments,
and
 formulation of a budget based on a realistic calculation of the level of funding needed to
maintain buildings.
Other details on assessment criteria used are in the relevant Sections of the Report.

1.8 Data Validation Process
Management of MEHR was provided with the audit criteria, findings and recommendations
to confirm their relevance, accuracy and suitability.

Maintenance of Government Primary and Secondary School Buildings

8

CHAPTER TWO
DESCRIPTION OF THE AUDITED ACTIVITY
This Chapter provides background information and description of the system for maintaining
Government School buildings.

2.1 Maintenance
British Standard 8210 defines “maintenance” as the combination of all technical and
administrative actions intended to retain an item in, or restore it to a state in which it can
perform its required function(s). The two processes mentioned are “retaining” which refers to
preventive maintenance works carried out in anticipation of failures, and “restoring” which
are corrective works carried out after the failures.
Maintenance can be subdivided into two basic categories, with associated subcategories as
follows:

2.1.1 Planned Maintenance
 Preventive/Predictive Maintenance – a planned and controlled programme of periodic
inspection, adjustment, and replacement of components, as well as performance testing
and analysis, sometimes referred to as a preventive maintenance programme
 Corrective – repair or replacement of obsolete, worn, broken, or inoperative building sub
components or sub systems

2.1.2 Unplanned Maintenance
 Reactive – unplanned maintenance of a nuisance nature, requiring low levels of skill for
correction. These problems are usually identified and reported by Facilities users
 Emergency – unscheduled work that requires immediate action to restore services, to
remove problems that could interrupt activities, or to protect life and property

2.2 Maintenance of Schools at MEHR
To carry out its activities, the MEHR has split the island into four Zones. With respect to
infrastructures, the MEHR has within its organisation structure the IMU which is responsible
for ensuring that Schools are safe and in good physical condition, and infrastructural projects
are timely implemented. Each Zone has a MU.
Maintenance works in Schools are carried out at different levels within the Ministry. Details
are given in Table 1.

Maintenance of Government Primary and Secondary School Buildings

9

Table 1 Units Carrying Out Maintenance Works within MEHR

Level
School

Zone MU

IMU

Nature of Work
Minor (e.g. replacing a
defective tap or a broken
window pane)
Minor repairs (e.g.
replacement of doors,
windows, painting, tiling and
fencing works)

Value
Small (met from
Imprest or PTA funds)

Not complex, but of larger
scope (e.g. painting of School
blocks)

Above Rs 500,000
(with special approval
from IMU)

Complex

Up to Rs 500,000

More complex and of larger
scope (e.g. replacement of
naco frames, painting,
renovation of toilets and
waterproofing works)

Above Rs 500,000 and
up to Rs 50 million4

Up to Rs 500,000

Undertaken by
School personnel (e.g.
Caretaker) or private
parties
MU staff comprising
Inspector of Works (IoW),
Assistant Inspector of
Works (AIoW), Masons,
Carpenters, Painters,
Plumbers, Welders,
Electricians and other
Tradesmen, under the
supervision of Technical
Officers (TO)3
Private Contractors under
supervision of TO
Private Contractors under
supervision of IMU
Engineers and TO

Source: MEHR

2.3 Other Key Players and their Activities
The Ministry is also supported by two key players to maintain School Buildings, PTA and
MPI.

2.3.1 Parent Teacher Association (PTA)
The PTA is an independent association comprising students’ parents and teaching personnel
of the School. It promotes the welfare of students, provides support to the School, and helps
towards enhancing its physical environment, equipment and other facilities, and operates in
line with the policy of the MEHR. The latter provides PTAs different types of grants that can
be used to maintain School buildings. Of these, the most substantial is the Special Grant used
to finance approved projects whose costs the PTA is prepared to partly finance (from their
own funds). The quantum for this grant has varied from Rs 200,000 to Rs 700,000 per School
during the past years.
3

In the four Zones, there are eight TOs, four IoWs, four AIoWs and some 100 Tradesmen. The TO surveys
School Buildings, prepares scope of work and advises the Zone Director on maintenance and infrastructural
issues.
4
The Rs 50 million threshold allowed under the Public Procurement Act generally applies to new constructions
or major upgrading and not to maintenance works. The IMU has, in recent years, implemented maintenance
projects costing at most Rs 600,000.

Maintenance of Government Primary and Secondary School Buildings

10

2.3.2 Ministry of Public Infrastructure (MPI)
Since financial year 2004-05, the Civil Engineering Section of MPI has been selecting private
Contractors, on a region-wise basis, to carry out maintenance, repairs, renovation,
refurbishment, upgrading and rehabilitation of Government buildings. These works whose
scopes are larger (compared to IMU driven jobs) are supervised by the Civil Engineering
Section which has the required expertise and staff to handle such projects. The value of such
works does not exceed Rs 5 million (excluding VAT).

2.4 Identifying Maintenance Needs, Planning and Monitoring
Maintenance needs for Schools are identified at different levels throughout the year. Heads of
Schools undertake inspections before the start of each School term under the School
Readiness Programme. Zone, IMU and MEHR personnel also identify maintenance works to
be carried out during their visits to Schools. Reports from Health and Safety Officers on
Schools are also useful. Complaints/requests from PTA also trigger investigations and
identification of works to be executed.
The IMU requires Zone Directorates to submit an implementation programme at the
beginning of the year, showing how they intend to carry the maintenance projects. They also
have to submit quarterly updates on the progress of the works, and participate in quarterly
monitoring meetings held by IMU.

2.5 Process Description
This Section describes the process for carrying maintenance works by Zone MU, IMU and
MPI. It also describes the procurement process at different levels.

2.5.1 Maintenance Works
Zone Maintenance Unit
Schools request Zone Directorates to carry out maintenance works which cannot be done at
their level. Zone MU records the requests in a “Request for Works” Register. Each request is
assigned a rotation number. Zone personnel process the requests and thereafter the Director
gives his/ her approval. The works which are supervised by Zone MU are either executed by
Tradesmen or contracted out. Zone Directorate can also refer the request to be attended by the
School’s PTA through use of its Special Grant.
Urgent requests are attended to immediately by the MU by redeployment of its staff from
other sites. Non-urgent works are processed during monthly Infrastructural Committee
Meetings. Site visits and surveys are carried out by TO’s, IoW’s and AIoW’s to assess the
maintenance requirements of approved requests. Thereafter, the maintenance works are
carried out by MU, or contracted out or referred to IMU.
Weekly plans of works are prepared and are approved by Management. The plan gives details
of the allocation of works and site visits to be performed. Different formats of the plan are

Maintenance of Government Primary and Secondary School Buildings

11

used by the Zones, but basic information, such as School name, rotation number, detailed
description of work to be performed, and brief report on issue/survey/project attended to are
included. Tradesmen and Assistant Tradesmen are required to fill in Job Sheets as a record of
their daily work performed. Job Sheets show work performed, attendance and certification (of
work done) by School management, among others.
Infrastructure Management Unit
In order to implement maintenance projects falling under its responsibility, the IMU has two
Civil Engineers, assisted by TOs. The Unit holds discussions with School management,
carries out surveys, prepares scope of works, drawings, specifications, cost estimates and
bidding documents. Works are carried out by selected private Contractors.
After selection of Contractors, contract documents showing start and completion dates, value
(including Contingency amounts), description and specifications for the work(s) are drawn. 5
Specifications used are the Government of Mauritius Standard Specifications issued by MPI.
These specifications lay down the minimum standards to be observed for materials used and
workmanship during execution of the works. At each step during execution, clear technical
requirements are also specified.6 In addition to the MPI standard specifications, the IMU also
includes its own specifications by customising the former.
Works start following a formal handing over of the site. During the meeting, important
contract requirements are highlighted. The Contractor’s obligations with regard to submission
of Compliance Certificates for all materials to be used, concrete mix which he intends to use
and concrete cubes test results, if any, are stressed. The Contractor is, also, requested to keep
on site at all times a Site Instruction Book (in triplicate copies), among others. Frequency of
site meetings (fortnightly) and visits (weekly) is also set.
A good practice is the maintenance of documentation on each job, from commencement to
final acceptance of the works. This includes contract documents, minutes of site meetings,
Instruction Sheets, invoices and Payment Certificates, and Partial and Final Taking Over
Certificates, among others. Contract management, monitoring, supervision of works, payment
certification, penalty application, practical and final taking over of works are all performed
by the Engineers and TOs of IMU.
Ministry of Public Infrastructure
Contractors, commonly known as District Contractors (DCs) selected by MPI, enter into
contract with the latter for the “Maintenance, Repairs and Rehabilitation of Government
Buildings”.7 Contract documents that follow the model recommended by the PPO show start
and end dates, description, specifications8 and rates for each item of work, and drawings.
General Conditions of Contract include those issued by the PPO and the “Conditions of
5

Contract documents follow the model recommended by PPO.
The specifications cover a whole range of materials and works needed for a building, such as concrete and
reinforcement, masonry, carpentry, plastering, tiling, glazing, painting, plumbing and for waterproofing system.
7
The island has nine Districts, and Plaines Wilhems is delimited between Lower and Upper. 10 Contractors are
selected. One Zone may cover two to three Districts. Thus, a similar number of DCs may be called to work in a
Zone. As per MPI, some five months are required to appoint DCs. It may take longer when unsuccessful
bidder(s) challenge the award.
8
Government of Mauritius Standard Specifications issued by MPI.
6

Maintenance of Government Primary and Secondary School Buildings

12

Contract” (First Edition 1999) issued by the “Federation Internationale des IngenieursConseils” (FIDIC)9.
Maintenance works to be carried out by the Contractors are indicated on Works Orders (WO)
which are signed by representatives of MPI and the Contractor. The steps leading to the issue
of this document and MPI’s intervention during the execution phase up to final handing over
are shown in Table 2.
Table 2 – Steps Leading to Issue of Works Order and MPI’s Intervention until end of Works

Step
Request for maintenance works from
Ministry
MPI meets Ministry’s representatives to
discuss scope of works, and carries out
survey and prepares cost estimate.
Confirmation of availability of funds by
Ministry
Works Order (WO) issued

Handing over of site
Contract management, monitoring and
supervision of works by MPI

Certification of application for payment
and penalty application (if any) are
ensured by MPI
Practical
and
Final
Completion
Certificates issued

Remarks
At the beginning of the year, the Ministry sends to MPI its list of
priority projects. To undertake each project (on the list or a new
one), a request needs to be made.
Ministry’s representatives are IMU and School management

Earmarking of funds for job at Ministry signifies the “go ahead”
for the work
No WO is issued until funds are confirmed by Ministry and a
request for its issue is made.
The WO is normally issued following a site visit carried out by
MPI and the Contractor during which MPI indicates to the
Contractor the works to be carried out. The two parties agree on
the commencement and completion dates. These dates, the items
of works and their estimated value (including any Contingency
amount) are shown on the WO.
This is done through a formal site meeting attended by
representatives of the Ministry, MPI and Contractor
These are done by the MPI Engineer and a TO who have been
assigned the job, during site visits and meetings. Oral and
written instructions are given by MPI officials.
Clause 1.8 of the Particular Conditions of Contract requires the
Contractor to provide to the Engineer with an Instruction Book
(with triplicates) and to keep, on site, one copy of the written
instructions issued by the Engineer or Engineer’s
representatives.
Certified applications for payment are paid by the Ministry

On practical handing over, a snag list of works is drawn that
need to be attended to within the Defects Liability Period. On
satisfactory completion of the outstanding works or correction of
defective works, the Final Completion Certificate is issued.

Source: MPI

A good practice is the maintenance of documentation on each job, from commencement to
final acceptance of the works. This includes the WOs, Compliance Certificates, minutes of
9

FIDIC, the International Federation of Consulting Engineers, represents globally the Consulting Engineering
industry. It promotes the business interests of Consulting Engineering organisations, consistent with the
responsibility to provide quality services for the benefit of society and the environment.

Maintenance of Government Primary and Secondary School Buildings

13

site meetings, Instruction Sheets, invoices and Payment Certificates, Partial and Final Taking
Over Certificates, among others.
The MPI has a practice to allocate the monitoring and supervision of works to a team of
Engineer and Technical Staff for an average of seven concurrent projects. According to MPI,
this ensures that the workload is not in excess of what its labour force can handle adequately.

2.5.2 Procurement
Procurement for goods and services for maintenance works is carried out at different levels.
Different procurement methods are used. A brief description of the process is at Table 3.
Table 3 – Procurement Process at Different Levels
Level

Procurement Method

Remarks

School

Direct Procurement

Direct purchases are for minor goods and services using
Imprest money

PTA

Request for Sealed
Quotations

Three quotations are sought for expenses financed
through Special Grants

Direct Procurement

Direct purchases are effected when using other grants
made available to the PTA

Request for Sealed
Quotations/ Restricted
Bidding

For maintenance works, costing up to Rs 500,000, and
goods and services worth at most Rs 250,000

Direct Procurement

For minor items and services.10

Zone MU

Each Zone has a Procurement Section. Quotations/bids are evaluated by the Zone
Tender Committee. Letter of Awards are issued by the Procurement Section and
contracts are entered with the Zone Directorate.
IMU

Restricted Bidding

For maintenance works costing above Rs 500,000

The Ministry’s Central Supplies Division is a Unit responsible for procurement. It
floats tenders, evaluates offers received with the assistance of MPI or IMU expertise,
as the case may require, and awards the contract.
MPI

Open Advertised
Bidding

Contractors are selected annually by the MPI for the
Maintenance, Repairs and Rehabilitation of Government
Buildings contracts through the Central Procurement
Board (CPB)11. Contracts are awarded by, and entered
with, the MPI.

The CPB vets bidding documents and notices submitted to it by MPI, receives and publicly
opens bids, selects persons from its list of qualified evaluators to act as members of a Bid
Evaluation Committee, oversees the examination and evaluation of bids, reviews the
recommendations of the Bid Evaluation Committee and approves the award of the contract.
Source: MEHR

10

For each good and service valued between Rs 20,000 and Rs 100,000, three quotations are sought.
The CPB is a body corporate established under the Public Procurement Act, responsible for the approval of
award of major contracts by Public Bodies.
11

Maintenance of Government Primary and Secondary School Buildings

14

2.6 Budgeting and Funding
The approach adopted by the Ministry to secure funds to meet maintenance expenditure is
summarised below:
(a) Before the end of a current year, the Ministry requires each School (through the Zone
Directorate) to identify and list projects and maintenance works to be executed at the
School during the next financial year. The list is submitted to its Zone Directorate.
(b) Each School’s list is examined at the Directorate, and a priority list of
projects/maintenance works at Schools is compiled for the Zone.
(c) Each Zone’s priority list is submitted to the IMU which examines and filters the most
important projects or works.
(d) Estimates are worked out for the developed lists and are consolidated into budget estimate
proposals.
(e) Following approval of the budget, the lists of priority projects/works are reworked taking
into consideration funds made available.
(f) New lists of projects/works to be executed by the Zone Directorates, IMU and MPI are
drawn by the IMU. The lists are prepared Zone wise.
(g) Maintenance expenditures for Zones and IMU are met from Budget Item “Maintenance”.
Funds are allocated using the following criteria:

budget amount available

number of Schools in the Zone

list of priority projects

project implementation/spending capacity of the Zone

amount payable to PTA (Special Grant)

Funds may be reallocated between Zone Directorates and IMU as and when the need is
felt during the year.
(h) Maintenance expenditures for works carried out by MPI’s DCs are mainly met from
Budget Item “Upgrading of Schools”.

Maintenance of Government Primary and Secondary School Buildings

15

Maintenance of Government Primary and Secondary School Buildings

16

CHAPTER THREE
FINDINGS
This Chapter describes the findings on whether the Ministry has an appropriate system for
maintaining School Buildings to time, cost and quality. Highlights of the findings precede the
relevant Sections.
 Schools visited showed several infrastructural problems. Cracks and leakages were the
most common.
 Infrastructural problems noted were widespread in the Zones. Maintenance done was
mainly corrective.
 Records kept on infrastructures were not adequate for planning and decision making on
maintenance.
 Annual maintenance plans were not drawn and monitoring of works was inadequate.
 More than 50 per cent of the prioritised works to be carried out by Zones were still
outstanding at year end.
 Funds available were not fully used.

3.1 State of School Buildings
Visits to 23 Schools in Zones 1 and 2 in July/August 2014 revealed a number of maintenance
issues faced by them. The most common and serious problems were ceiling and/or wall
cracks, and leakages during rainy periods. These caused much discomfort to users and
affected the smooth running of Schools. At Petit Verger Government School (GS), Science
classes could not be dispensed in a recently built Science Block due to leakages. At Quartier
Militaire State Secondary School (SSS) and Queen Elizabeth College (QEC) pails had to be
used in the Administrative Offices to collect dripping water. Several Schools had their roofs
waterproofed, but cleaning of the treated surfaces was not done. There were other issues,
such as damaged paintwork and rusty metal works/infrastructures, damaged tiles and toilet
problems. Certain Schools were relatively well maintained, like Barkly GS, Rajiv Gandhi GS,
S Virahsawmy SSS (except for leakages in some parts of the building at the latter) and
S Jugdambi SSS.
Infrastructural problems observed at the selected Schools were reported by most Schools in
both Zones. Requests for maintenance received from Schools between 2012 and 2014 related
mainly to the issues mentioned above, with varying degrees of severity. For example some
15 per cent of the requests related to cracks, spalling and leakages, and about 13 per cent to
toilet problems.
The MEHR, together with its partners in maintenance, strive to keep its Schools in good
condition. However, several issues associated with the maintenance system do not allow it to
achieve the best results. These are discussed in the paragraphs below.

Maintenance of Government Primary and Secondary School Buildings

17

3.2 Maintenance Strategy
Presently, MEHR does not have a strategy that balances planned and unplanned maintenance
works. The maintenance works examined in the two Zones indicated that these were mainly
of corrective, reactive and emergency nature. Preventive maintenance is an important
component that checks deteriorations from creeping in and ensures infrastructures are cared
for early. Problems tackled a later stage are most likely to aggravate and disrupt School
activities. They are, also, more costly to deal with, later.
According to the Ministry there is a preventive maintenance strategy which includes,
amongst others, regular painting of schools and institutions.
However, our findings indicated that the focus of the Ministry was on corrective
maintenance.

3.3 Periodic Review and Records of Conditions of Buildings
Good practices require a periodic review of the conditions of buildings. These include a
physical inspection of buildings, assessment of the actual conditions of individual elements,
services and buildings, and identification of maintenance works required to bring the
condition of the building up to a specified condition standard.12 The Ministry did not carry
out this periodic review. Records, such as School layout plan, description and conditions of
individual blocks, classrooms, history of major maintenance and interventions were not kept.
Information were collected during inspections, at School level, that helped to assess School
readiness before resumption of studies and, at Zone and IMU levels, that contributed to
preparation of priority lists for maintenance activities. Records at Zone level contained
maintenance requests received from Schools and explained how they were attended to.
However, these information did not fully reflect the state of infrastructures, and were not
helpful to draw a plan to cater for the maintenance needs of the buildings over the immediate,
medium and long terms.
At several Schools visited in both Zones, management was not aware of certain features
thereat. For example, at S Jugdambi SSS and Pamplemousses GS (in Zone 1) and Quartier
Militaire SSS and Shri Rajiv Gandhi GS (Zone 2), management had limited knowledge on
waterproofing works done at the Schools – which block?, since when?, whether still under
guarantee, and conditions for the guarantee to stand. For S Jugdambi SSS, neither the School,
Zone, IMU nor MPI had records on the warranty on waterproofing works.
Often decisions, like approval for the painting of Mohabeer Foogooa GS in Zone 1, have
been taken in the absence of records on the maintenance history of the building.
The Ministry contended that regular checks are also, carried out by the Technical Officers
and the Engineers to detect possible spalling of concrete.

12

Maintenance Management Framework of the Department of Housing and Public Works, Queensland
Government, Australia (www.hpw.qld.gov.au)

Maintenance of Government Primary and Secondary School Buildings

18

However, the above exercise is not carried out in a planned manner by the Ministry and is
insufficient to provide a periodic assessment of the condition of the buildings and maintain
updated records on their conditions.

3.4 Annual Maintenance Works Programme and Monitoring of Works
An annual programme or plan describes in detail what is proposed to be carried out, sets
priorities, defines time frames and quantifies human and financial resources. The plan needs
to be realistic and reviewed whenever the need is felt. The MEHR did not prepare an annual
maintenance work programmes. It had only annual individual lists of prioritised works. Time
frames to execute jobs and need for resources were not defined.
During the period 2012 to 2014, Zone Directorates did not submit annual implementation
programmes and quarterly updates on progress of works as required by IMU. Quarterly
meetings were not held to monitor progress of work by IMU.
Planning and monitoring of maintenance works at Zone level also differed.
In Zone 1, at the monthly Infrastructure Committee meetings, new requests from Schools
were discussed, analysed and works allocated to responsible Officers. However, the time
frame to execute these works was not set by the Committee.
On the other hand, time to perform the individual works was decided by Officers of the
Inspectorate Grade and inserted on plans of work for MU staff. Management did not measure
the actual time taken and compared same with the preset time to perform the works. This did
not help management to monitor the works and assess performance of staff.
In Zone 2, the practice to hold monthly meetings was discontinued as from January 2014.
Management examined all requests received, and those approved were channelled to the TOs
for necessary action. Plans of work drawn for MU personnel were not time framed. This
prevented monitoring of works to time.
The Ministry stated that “there is proper planning of both major and minor maintenance to be
carried out in each coming financial year. In this respect, the list of these works is well
established in order of priority and available at the Ministry”.
However, establishing the priority list is only part of the planning process. Time frames and
resources requirement allocated for the maintenance works were missing.

3.5 Budgeting
Budget proposal for maintenance prepared by the Ministry was not based on a realistic
calculation of the level of funding needed to maintain its School buildings. Only rough
estimates were worked out for priority lists of works guided by previous years’ expenditures,
spending capacity and ceilings set by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development for
inclusion in budget proposals.

Maintenance of Government Primary and Secondary School Buildings

19

Funds budgeted under Items “Maintenance of schools” and “Upgrading of Schools” in recent
years were not fully used as shown in Table 4.
Table 4 Funds Available and Spent (all four Zones)

Year

Maintenance of Schools
Available**
Spent
%
Rs million
Rs million
Unspent

Upgrading of Schools*
Available**
Spent
%
Rs million
Rs million Unspent

2012

83

76

8

134

107

20

2013

70

67

4

191

131

31

2014

81

67

17

158

140

11

Source: MEHR
*Excludes Primary School Renewal Project (PSRP) and Grants to PTA.
** After reallocations

Maintenance works financed from Budget Item “Maintenance of Schools” were those carried
out mainly by Schools, MU and IMU. Those financed from “Upgrading of Schools” were
mostly executed by DCs. Maintenance works at Zone level also included refurbishment of
classrooms in Primary Schools under the Sankoré Project.13
Since 2011, works under the Sankoré Project comprised wall repairs/plastering, painting,
tiling, burglar proofing, as well as electrical works undertaken by the Energy Services
Division of MPI. These works were not included in the Zones’ priority lists. A significant
proportion of funds was spent on these works. With the reduced level of each Zone’s funding
and with reallocations, other maintenance works were executed. Relevant figures for 2014 are
in Table 5.
As of end of September 2014, only Rs 398,000 were available for maintenance activities in
Zone 1, and by year end only Rs 300,000 were utilised. Total funds used at this Zone allowed
41 per cent of prioritised works to be executed. The Ministry’s practice to reallocate funds
between Zone Directorates and IMU was not availed of by Zone 1. At least 17 per cent of
funds under “Maintenance of Schools” were available in the Ministry’s vote as at September
2014 (see Table 4 above).
In Zone 2, funds totalling Rs 10.5 million were reallocated. This allowed it to carry important
painting works (costs ranging from Rs 900,000 to Rs 3.5 million) at four Schools that were
not originally included in its priority list. These affected execution of other priority works
which had to be deferred, and caused the proportion of overall unattended works to stand at
76 per cent at year end.

13

The Sankoré Project involves equipping all Primary Schools with interactive equipment, as well as
educational software with a view to facilitating the provision of education to children through innovative
technologies. The interactive equipment, white boards and projectors, were donated by the French Government.
Classrooms needed to be adequately prepared to accommodate these equipment and for conduct of classes.

Maintenance of Government Primary and Secondary School Buildings

20

Table 5 Funds Available for Maintenance Works in 2014

Zone 1

Zone 2

Primary

Secondary

Primary

Secondary

11.4
6
-

3.1
2
0.05

5.2
6
1.56

4.1
2
8.96

3.6

-

3.96

-

60

-

66

-

Funds available for Maintenance Works

2.40

2.05

3.60

10.96

Unspent balance (Rs million)
Works on revised priority list*
completed

0.1

-

-

-

11 out of 25

3 out of 9

10 out of 40

6 out of 26

Estimated Cost of Maintenance Works
as per Priority List (Rs million)
Initial allocated budget (Rs million)
Reallocation (Rs million)
Value of Sankoré Project works (Rs
million)
Proportion of Initial Budget used by
Sankoré Project (%)

Overall unattended works on (amended)
priority list (%)

59

76

Source: MEHR
* List is revised to cater for new works identified/ executed during the year

The late or non-appointment of DCs in 2012 and 2013 meant that several maintenance works
could not be executed. Some 25 per cent of available funds under “Upgrading of Schools”
were unspent during 2012 and 2013 and lapsed. It is worth mentioning that in mid-2013,
MEHR requested its IMU and MPI to launch tenders, as an alternative measure, to have
Schools repaired and maintained.14 This course was, however, not followed as it involved the
time consuming processes of preparing detailed tender documents for each work, floating of
bids, evaluation and award of contracts. Thus, again, voted funds could not be used.
The under spending of funds in a given year generally results in lesser funds being approved
for the next year. Table 6 shows funds applied for by MEHR and approved by the Ministry of
Finance from 2012 to 2014. Less and lesser funds were allocated.
Table 6: Funds Applied for and Approved under “Upgrading of Schools”

Funds requested (Rs million)*
Funds approved (Rs million)*
Surplus/(Deficit) (Rs million)*

2012
339
446
107

2013
321
234
(87)

2014
336
237
(99)

Source: MEHR
*Gross amount of Vote Item (includes PSRP and PTA Grants)
14

When no WO can be issued to MPI’s DCs, the Public Procurement Act allows recourse to sealed quotations
for works less than Rs 5 million, open advertised bidding for works exceeding Rs 5 million and emergency
procurement on a case to case basis. The request for individual tendering was in respect of 28 waterproofing
works, 17 spalling/cracks repairs and 13 upgrading/repairs of toilets.

Maintenance of Government Primary and Secondary School Buildings

21

DC’s are appointed for a period of 12 months that will inevitably straddle two financial years
if appointment is not made at the start of a financial year. As funds are always made available
for a financial year, the proportion that cannot be used due to unavailability of DC’s is likely
to lapse. The utilisation of funds is subject to issue of WO which is itself subject to
availability of resources at MPI. Under these circumstances, it becomes important that DCs
are appointed at the beginning of the financial year to allow a maximum use of allocated
funds.

3.6 Maintenance Works
 There were backlogs on both major and minor maintenance works.
 The non appointment of DCs on time, inadequate planning and budget monitoring were
the main causes for the accumulation of unattended maintenance works.

3.6.1 General
Requests for maintenance of buildings received in Zones 1 and 2 during the period January
2012 to May 2014 were analysed. Maintenance works could be broadly categorised as major
and minor ones. Major works included repairs of cracks, spalling, roof leakages and
repairs/upgrading of toilets. Though the number of requests for these works did not top the
list, they related to the most important problems that disrupted Schools. These are classified
as priority by MEHR and are attended by IMU and MPI. Minor maintenance works comprise
plumbing, tiling and painting, among others, that are dealt with at School, PTA and Zone
level. In both categories, there were backlogs.
Backlog on Important Maintenance Works
Backlogs on these works had built up due to the late or non-appointment of DC’s by MPI in
2012 and 2013.15 During the period August 2012 to July 2013, services of DCs were not
available. Thus, not all works scheduled for execution in 2012 and 2013 by MPI could be
carried out. Unattended works had to be rolled over for execution in succeeding years, and as
at December 2014, 15 such works (31 per cent) in both Zones were still outstanding. A few
examples are shown in Table 7.

15

Bidding exercise for selection of 2012 DCs was carried out, but none was appointed. One unsuccessful bidder
lodged a case before Supreme Court. The Attorney General’s Office advised to await judgement before award of
contract. Court hearing in late 2012. Launching of new tenders for 2013 DCs was deferred until January 2013
due to Court hearings in 2012. Award of contract for 2013 DC was challenged before the Independent Review
Panel.

Maintenance of Government Primary and Secondary School Buildings

22

Table 7 Priority Works to be Carried out by DC Outstanding as at December 2014

Zone
1
1
1
2
2
2

School

Maintenance Works

J.M. Frank Richard
Notre Dame GS
Mohabeer Foogooa GS
Bon Accueil State College
Stanley GS
Shrimati Indira Gandhi SSS

2

Ebene SSS

In Priority List Since

External painting
Replacement of Naco Frames
Upgrading of toilet
Laying of tiles
Upgrading of toilet
Waterproofing & treatment of
expansion joint
Waterproofing works

2012
2012
2013
2012
2013
2013
2014

Source: MEHR

Whenever the services of DCs were available, the established practice of handling seven
Government maintenance projects at any one time by each supervising team (comprising one
Engineer and one TO) was followed by MPI. This allowed only 33 works (out of 48
identified) to be executed/started from 2012 through 2014 in the two Zones. Seven works
could not wait for appointment of DCs. They were so pressing that the Zone MU had to carry
them out.
Backlog on Minor Maintenance Works
The main reasons for the backlog on minor maintenance works were inadequate planning and
monitoring as mentioned at paragraph 3.4 above. Statistics in both Zones were not readily
available. A few examples of works backlogged are given in Table 8.
Table 8 Backlogs in Minor Maintenance Works in Zones 1 and 2
School

Date of
Request

P Louis North
SSS (Zone 1)

5.03.13

B Khemloliva GS

21.3.14

(Zone 1)

Pamplemousses
GS (Zone 1)
Camp de Masque
SSS (Zone 2)
QEC (Zone 2)

M. Rambarrun
GS (Zone 2)

30.06.14
2013
2012-13

2013

Maintenance Work

Status as at December 2014 and
Remarks of Zone Directorate

Gutter to be repaired, leakage
along corridors, moulds on
stairs.
Accumulation of water on roof.
There is no access to roof.
Sign of Termites in ICT
Classroom.
Repair of gutters and rainwater
pipes.
Repairs to water distribution
network (several requests)
Plastering
painting

of

walls

To be carried out at Zone level.
List of materials sent to
Procurement Section.
Outstanding .Request sent to
IMU.
Outstanding. Zone personnel not
available.
Outstanding. Facilities such as
scaffolding not available.
Partly completed. Awaiting
supply of new water pump as at
May 2015.
and Outstanding .Scope of works
prepared in 2015

Source: MEHR

Maintenance of Government Primary and Secondary School Buildings

23

3.7 Maintenance Works Funded by PTA Special Grant
Maintenance works carried out with Special Grants to PTA related to tiling, painting, ceiling
and toilet repairs mainly. In 2012 and 2014, Special Grants allocated to the 130 Primary
Schools and 37 Secondary Schools in Zones 1 and 2, amounted to some Rs 111 million and
some Rs 34 million respectively. No Grants were disbursed in 2013. An analysis of the 2012
Grants spent showed that the proportion used for maintenance of buildings varied from
School to School. In Zone 2, up to 47 per cent of the Grants were used at LPK Boolell GS,
but none at QEC. These works were approved, but were not supervised, by the Zone
Directorates. During visits to selected Schools in the Zones, how works were executed and
their quality could be noted. Tiles laid in classrooms and corridors of several Schools were
not properly levelled. At the Sir Leckraz Teelock SSS, new metal bars were welded onto the
old rusty ones of handrails in an attempt to repair same. For metal works, bars should be
properly treated (if they can be repaired) or removed (if they are beyond repairs) before
fixing new ones. At the Pamplemousses GS, tiling works were effected in the corridor using
PTA Grant in 2012. During site visit in July 2014, it was observed that at several places, tiles
were detached and broken. The absence of supervision caused works not to be correctly
executed and affected the quality of the jobs.
Although the Ministry pays substantial grants to Schools’ PTA and requires the Zone
Directorates to approve projects funded by same, it did not supervise the works to ensure that
these jobs meet a minimum standard.

3.8 Zone Maintenance Unit
 Projects examined were not adequately monitored.
 Insufficient supervision on jobs affected their delivery to time, cost and quality.
 No benefits were derived from lost labour hours paid for by the Ministry.

3.8.1 Records on Planning and on Execution of Maintenance Works
Weekly plans and Job Sheets are important documents in helping the Zone MUs to monitor
maintenance works. A sample of Weekly Plans and Job Sheets prepared in both Zones in
2014 was examined. The following were noted:
 Plans were not approved by management.
 No rotation number of request being attended to was inserted on both plan and Job Sheet.
 In Zone 2, no estimated time frame to attend to a request was set on the plan. For
Tradesmen, often, several requests were grouped together and assigned to the
maintenance team. For example for a week in February 2014, “Plumbing works at Brisée
Verdiere, Ecroignard, Bon Accueil and J. Nehru GSs” were allocated to a team of three
Maintenance Workers. The requests were neither identified nor described and no time
scale given to work on each. In Zone 1, requests were correctly described and time

Maintenance of Government Primary and Secondary School Buildings

24

allocated to attend to same recorded thereon. However, how time frames were worked out
could not be explained.
 “Time Out” on Job Sheets in both Zones was in most cases stated as “14.00 pm”. Normal
working times for Tradesmen are 7.30 am to 3.30 pm.
 On some monthly Job Sheets, description of “Work Done” or certification by School
management was missing.

3.8.2 Execution, Monitoring and Supervision of Works
In performance terms, works are efficiently and effectively executed, monitored and
supervised when they are completed and delivered to time, cost and quality. Through an
examination of the weekly plans for the period January to May 2014, it was found out that in
Zone 1, as low as 50 per cent of available labour hours for IoW and AIoW were utilised for
monitoring and supervision of works, and the rest of the time was devoted to surveys and
office works. This affected the delivery and quality of works. During visits to Schools this
could be established.
Time
In Zone 2, the absence of requests rotation numbers on plans of work and Job Sheets and time
frames on the former meant that these documents could not be matched and, more
importantly, ascertaining whether tasks were delivered to time was not possible. The
documents do not allow the monitoring of works executed.
In Zone 1, weekly plans of work and Job Sheets prepared could be matched to assess timely
execution of works. However, this exercise was not done. At the Droopnath Ramphul State
College, three Tradesmen were asked to carry “Renovation of podium in laboratories” over
seven working days as per two consecutive weekly plans (5 + 2 days). The job was
completed in three days only during the first week. The workers remained on site for four
additional days to attend to new works requested by the School management. For these
additional works, there were no official request to, and approval of Zone MU. This case
illustrates that plans were not correctly drawn based on workload assessment and the absence
of monitoring.
Cost
Maintenance works consume materials and labour.
 Materials. Procurement of materials at Zone level followed the established procurement
procedures, and materials and/or services were acquired at reasonable cost.
 Labour. Early departures from sites of work by Maintenance Workers and recorded on
Job Sheets (certified by the Headmaster or Rector at whose School works were carried
out) represent paid lost labour hours for the Ministry. Each worker departing 1½ hour
earlier than he should everyday works out to 360 hours of productive labour hours lost

Maintenance of Government Primary and Secondary School Buildings

25

annually (duty is attended on some 240 days in a year). This is equivalent Rs 2.2 million16
worth of labour paid for every year, for both Zones, but for which no benefits were
derived by the Ministry.
In the PRB Report 2013, it is emphasised that “officers should work within prescribed
hours”. The Ministry has not taken necessary action against the workers. This has led to a
situation where Tradesmen take it for granted that they can leave early. The labour lost or
foregone might have caused other works to be unduly delayed.
The Ministry explained that when compared to the number of schools and colleges, the
Maintenance Unit is under staffed and is making optimum use of the labour force available.
However, our findings described above, showed that optimum use was not made of available
labour hours.
Quality/Completeness
For some works executed by MU personnel, quality/ completeness was lacking.
At the L.P.K. Boolell GS (Zone 2), tiles laid in classrooms were not levelled. As unlevelled
tiles are prone to breakage, the lifetime of the flooring is most likely to be affected. More
importantly, such a surface is not user friendly. Users run the risk of falling on same. In the
same Zone, at Vele Govinden GS, a washbasin installed in the Headmaster’s office by the
MU was seen not to be levelled. Pieces of a carton sheets were used by School personnel to
try to keep it horizontal.

16

Productive working hours total seven hours only for a Tradesman in his normal 7.30 am to 15.30 pm daily
working times. The 360 hours lost is thus equivalent to some 51 days (360/7) or 2½ months’ work. This
represents some Rs 1.1 million labour in a Zone

Maintenance of Government Primary and Secondary School Buildings

26

3.9 IMU and MPI Maintenance Works
 The recommended practices for procurement of maintenance works at IMU were
followed.
 Proper agreements were drawn with Contractors.
 Processes relating to extension of ongoing contracts with MPI’s DCs were done in
compliance with the provisions of the law.
 Inadequate monitoring, supervision and contract management were noted on several
jobs.
 Certain contract requirements were not followed on some works. This led to
maintenance works not being satisfactorily carried out, and in turn caused
inconvenience to users.
 Insufficient documentation during the execution phase of most works was also noted.

3.9.1 IMU Maintenance Works
Procurement
For selected works executed in the two Zones by IMU, the established procurement
procedures mentioned at paragraph 2.5.2 were followed.
Execution, Monitoring and Supervision (Zones 1 and 2)
Details and the findings made on works carried out by the IMU and examined are given in
Table 9 for Zone 1 and Table 10 for Zone 2.
For Zone 1, two projects (one waterproofing and painting, and the other one waterproofing
only) were carried out by the IMU, and for Zone 2, three works (one waterproofing only, one
painting only, and the last one waterproofing cum painting) were undertaken. The
waterproofing works of Zone 1 and the last two mentioned works of Zone 2 were selected for
examination.

Maintenance of Government Primary and Secondary School Buildings

27

Table 9 IMU Maintenance Works in Zone 1
School

Xavier Barbe
GS

Pointe aux Sables
GS

Emmanuel Anquetil
GS

Description of
Works

Waterproofing, repair of cracks and painting in classrooms of PrePrimary Units (PPU)

Contract Details and
Actual Completion
Date

Start date: 11 Nov 2013
Scheduled completion date: 27 Jan 2014
Revised completion date: 13 Mar 2014
Amount: Rs 584,027
Completion date: 20 May 2014 (with a delay of 57 days)

Execution

As per contract
except:
 screed17 not laid as
per specifications;

As per contract
except no 24 hour
water test done

As per contract except
no 24 hour water test
done

 no 24 hour water
test18 done
Monitoring and
Supervision

Screed
thickness/slope and
primer checked.
Cracks and spalling19
repairs checked.
Approval given for
1st waterproofing
membrane20.

Screed
thickness/slope and
primer checked

Screed thickness/slope
and primer checked
Approval given for 1st
waterproofing
membrane only

Remarks

No documentary
evidence for
inspection of :

No documentary
evidence for:

No documentary
evidence for:

 approval for 1st
waterproofing
membranes

inspection of
cracks, spalling
repairs and
paintwork

24 hour water test
in February 2015

 paintwork
 24 hour water test
in February 2015

 inspection of
cracks, spalling
repairs and
paintwork

24 hour water test
in February 2015

Source: School Project Files
17

A levelled layer of concrete applied to the roof or surface being waterproofed.
The 24 hour test consists of filling the whole treated area with water (after plugging water pipes outlets) and retaining the
water on the treated surface for 24 hours, and then checking for any leak. The 24 hour test is, also, referred to as “Ponding Test”
(by IMU).
19
Spalling refers to concrete that has broken up, flaked, or become pitted.
20
It is a sheet made of impermeable bituminous materials. In waterproofing works, two layers are usually laid. Extreme care,
supervision and strict adherence to manufacturer’s recommended procedures.
18

Maintenance of Government Primary and Secondary School Buildings

28

Table 10 IMU Maintenance Works in Zone 2

School

R. Balgobin GS

L.P.K. Boolell GS

Description of
Works

External painting works

Waterproofing and external painting
works at Pre-Primary Unit

Contract Details and
Actual Completion
Date

Start date: 05 June 2013

Start date: 22 July 2013

Duration: 10 weeks

Duration: 10 weeks

Amount: Rs 392,150

Amount: Rs 299,230

Liquidated damages: 0.05% of
contract price per day

Liquidated damages: 0.05% of
contract price per day

Works completed with a delay of
23 days.

Completion date: 23 Sep 2013 (with
a delay of 6 days).

Execution

Contractor complied with most
contract requirements and
obligations stated at site handing
over.

As per contract.

Monitoring and
Supervision

Additional cleaning of surface
and fungicide treatment
requested.
Approvals or disapprovals of
works on buildings or part thereof
given; repairs on works
requested.
Liquidated damages at approved
rates charged.

Instructions and approvals given on
waterproofing works (laying of
screed and two layers of
waterproofing membranes only),
casting of concrete platform and
painting works.
Screed thickness/slope not checked.

Remarks

Generally well executed,
monitored, supervised and
documented.
During site visit in August 2014,
School looked well painted and
Headmistress expressed
satisfaction on work executed.

Documentary evidences filed in
September 2014, i.e. almost one
year after completion of works.
During site visit in August 2014,
PPU looked well painted and it was
reported that it was not suffering
from leakages.

Source: School Project Files

Maintenance of Government Primary and Secondary School Buildings

29

It was observed that:
 Not all steps involved in waterproofing works were followed. For Zone 1 Schools, no
24-hour water tests were carried out. In November 2014, leakages were reported in all
three Pre Primary Units (PPU). The Contractor was requested to remedy the defects and
to carry out ponding tests in presence of IMU officers. Remedial works were done in
February 2015. At end April 2015, there were still leakages at the PPUs at Pointe aux
Sables and Emmanuel Anquetil GSs. The three maintenance works were not sufficiently
documented as required by good practice.
 On the other hand, in Zone 2works at R Balgobin GS, were well documented. At LPK
Boolell GS, certain documents were filed some one year after completion of works. It was
explained that instructions/approvals were given during site visits, but copies of
Instruction Sheets were not taken for filing. In September 2014, six sequentially
numbered Instruction Sheets were produced.
Moreover, a Certificate of Guarantee (for 10 years from the date of the practical
completion on 4 October 2013) against leakage, defective materials and defective
installation of the completed waterproofing system could not be produced.

3.9.2 MPI Maintenance Works
Processes relating to extension of ongoing contracts with MPI’s DCs were examined. These
were done in compliance with the provisions of the law.
Zone 1
Of 12 maintenance works at Schools in Zone 1 carried out by MPI’s DCs during 2012 and
2013, five works carried out at Triolet SSS, GRNW GS, Adolphe de Plevitz SSS, Petit
Raffray GS and Sharma Jugdambi SSS respectively were examined. These works,
comprising waterproofing, repair of cracks and spalled concrete, painting, tiling and
associated works, were executed by three different DCs and supervised by three different
teams. Except for Triolet SSS, certain contractual tasks such as no-ponding test and 24 hour
test were not carried out. Documentation in respect of supervision works on certain tasks was
not available in Project Files in all the five cases.
With regard to Adolphe de Plevitz SSS, WO for waterproofing and tiling works was issued in
May 2013. For the tiling works, the tiles used did not obtain the prior approval of MPI. In
September 2014, the latter informed the Ministry that the works in the Library were not
satisfactory and all tiles would be removed and replaced. As of November 2014, the building
was still leaking despite the waterproofing works. MPI considered that the source of the
ingress of water might be elsewhere, and it was taking action to identify it.
Following requests from my Officers, seven Instruction Sheets relating to waterproofing
works only (repair of cracks and spalled concrete, painting, tiling and other associated works
executed under the WOs were not covered) carried out at the Adolphe de Plevitz SSS, Petit
Raffray GS and Sharma Jugdambi SSS were produced. These notes numbered, 701 to 707,
from a single Instruction Book, were not sequentially and chronologically issued. This
represented a discrepancy in matching the progress of work to time.

Maintenance of Government Primary and Secondary School Buildings

30

Zone 2
Of four Maintenance works carried out by MPI through its pre-selected DCs in Zone 2 during
2012 and 2013, those at Quartier Militaire SSS, QEC and Sir Leckraj Teelock SSS were
examined. In two cases, namely at Quartier Militaire SSS and Sir Leckraj Teelock SSS, there
was insufficient documentary evidence on the works.
 Quartier Militaire SSS (Girls). The maintenance works at this School comprised
waterproofing and repair of cracks at the Administration and Science Classroom Blocks
and Art Room. From commencement to end of works, no documentary evidence was
available in the Project File that would help one to follow and assess how the works were
executed, monitored and supervised. WOs were issued and the Practical Completion
Certificate, dated 26 July 2012, and the Defects Liability Certificate of 20 December
2012 followed. It was explained that oral instructions were given.
In mid July 2013, several months after Final Taking Over, leakages were reported in the
Administration Block (C) and Science block (D). From records at the Ministry and
information obtained at MPI, the source of the leakage in Block C had not been detected
before or while executing the works in 2012. This shows that works under the WO were
not complete, notwithstanding the issue of the Defects Liability Certificate. As of April
2015, the source of the leakage in Block C was still under investigation.
The School management reported that the continued leakage problem in the
“waterproofed” Administration Block C was still causing inconvenience to users.
The Ten Year Guarantee Certificate against leakage, defective materials and defective
installation of the completed waterproofing system to be submitted by the Contractor was
not available.
 Queen Elizabeth College (QEC). Two jobs relating to repairs to podium and upgrading of
toilets were carried out. Overall maintenance works at this School were properly
executed, monitored, supervised and adequately documented.
 Sir Leckraz Teelock SSS. Works at this School comprised repair to timber flooring in
gymnasium, tiling and waterproofing. Details on the maintenance job at this School are:

A WO was issued in October 2013 and at site handing over on 17 October 2013, new
works, such as repairs to flooring (about 20 m2) and upgrading of wooden fascia
(infested with termites) of podium to an aluminium one were found to be necessary. 21

Commencement date was postponed to 21 January 2014 as the Gymnasium was used
to accommodate the end of year SC/HSC Examinations. Works started as scheduled,
but had to be put on hold because the Gymnasium was leaking a lot, with heavy
downpours in late January 2014. Some 30 per cent of timber polishing had been
completed by that time.

21

A request for these, together with other works related to the Gymnasium, was made to the Ministry in late
October 2013 by the Rector. This was attended to by MPI in mid March 2014, and a new WO was issued on 25
April 2014.

Maintenance of Government Primary and Secondary School Buildings

31

On 30 July 2014, another request was received from the Rector for new works in the
Gymnasium. It was explained that when the previous survey (second, giving rise to
WO issued on 25 April 2014) was carried out by MPI’s and Ministry’s TOs, in March
2014, “the Changing Rooms and parts of the Hall were packed with refuse... so that a
full assessment of the renovation works was impossible”.22

During a site visit at the School on 8 August 2014, works under the first two WOs which
had resumed/started on 21 July 2014 were ongoing.
Comments on this job are as follows:

Three surveys were carried out for the project. No survey reports were available.

Surveys conducted were incomplete. Damages to 20 m2 of timber flooring were not
detected during the first survey. A few weeks later, the Engineer and all those
attending the site handing over meeting found that this problem needed to be fixed.

The leakage problem may not have been communicated to the survey team, but
anyone about to treat wooden flooring would normally make sure that no rainwater
leaks on such surfaces. During a visit in August 2014, it was clearly observed that
dripping rainwater from the ceiling had bleached the timber flooring, at different
spots. Therefore, waterproofing works were a must-do job there, but were omitted.
Floor marking for practice of sports and timber skirting were also not included.

For the execution phase, no documentation on the works was available in the Project
File. It was explained that instructions were given verbally.

As per Engineer’s certified Payment Certificate, no liquidated damages were charged.
For lack of documentation, extension of time granted, delays in execution and
liquidated damages could not be ascertained.

According to the Ministry there is supervision of all works allocated to Contractors by both
its Officers and those of MPI.
However, in some maintenance works examined as described above, supervision by the
Ministry and MPI was inadequate.

22

According to the Rector, following clearing of these areas, leakages, spalling, falling wall tiles and damaged
urinals were observed in the Changing Rooms. Openings, water troughs and mirrors, therein, were, also,
requested to be replaced. For the Hall, tiling works, timber skirting, varnishing of wooden structures and floor
marking for practice of sports were asked for. In both areas, about 20 doors needed replacement. Following a
survey (third), MPI worked out the cost estimate for the additional jobs to some Rs 2.96 million. A WO for
renovation of Hall and Changing Room was issued in October 2014.

Maintenance of Government Primary and Secondary School Buildings

32

3.10 Ten Year Guarantee Certificate for Waterproofing Works
 Guarantee Certificates for waterproofing works that did not conform to contract
requirements were accepted.
 Repairs to defects by Contractors within the guarantee period were untimely or
unsatisfactory.
 Conditions for the guarantee to stand were not met by Schools. This, coupled with delays
to attend to repairs, caused the warranties to lapse.
 The overall effect was continued leakages experienced at Schools that affected the
smooth running of classes.

Agreements entered with both MPI and IMU for waterproofing works require the Contractor,
“on satisfactory completion of the waterproofing works,... (to) submit a certificate of
guarantee against leakage, defective materials and defective installation of the completed
waterproofing system. Any such defects or leakage occurring during the guarantee period
shall be promptly and completely attended to, including all affected work, at no additional
cost to the employer.” The agreements further state that, “the said guarantee shall be in effect
for a period of ten (10) years from the date of the Practical Completion Certificate. The
guarantee shall be signed by the Contractor and shall be submitted to the Engineer, with a
copy to the Employer (for MPI commissioned works), and only to the Employer (for IMU
contracted works).”
Guarantee Certificates generally express promptness on the part of the Contractor to carry out
repairs and conditions to be met by Schools for the guarantee to stand. The diligent exercise
of responsibilities by all parties concerned under such a warranty should ensure that buildings
do not suffer from inconveniences due to leakages during the 10 year period (except for brief
intervals23). Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. Incorrect certificates submitted and failure
to attend promptly and completely to defects and leakages by Contractors caused Schools to
suffer from continued leakages over long periods during the warranty term. Non-maintenance
of, and damage caused to, the waterproofing membranes by Schools, also, led warranty to
lapse.
During year 2012 to 2014, 38 waterproofing works in Zones 1 and 2 and amounting to some
Rs 38.7 million were executed/started.

3.10.1 Non-Complying Guarantee Certificates
The contract documents do not prescribe a specific format and wordings for this Certificate.
Contractors submitted Guarantee Certificates which were inappropriate. Four Certificates
available in respect of works executed by MPI and IMU were examined.
The observations are as follows:

23

Like during the time it takes to contact the Contractor and effect the repairs. At worst, mild leakages, may be
experienced during these times.

Maintenance of Government Primary and Secondary School Buildings

33

 Grand River North West GS. Guarantee Certificate submitted by Sub Contractor was in
favour of the owners and representative of the DC instead of the employer (MPI).
 Petit Raffray GS. The DC submitted a Guarantee Certificate “on behalf of the Ministry of
Education” instead of one in favour of the employer, namely MPI.
 Triolet SSS. The DC submitted a Guarantee Certificate without any mention of its
obligation or commitment for repairing any leakage during the 10 year period.
 Xavier Barbe and Pointe aux Sables GS. The Guarantee Certificate did not specify clearly
whether it was in respect of defects arising from bad workmanship and materials.
All the four Certificates did not meet the contractual requirements mentioned above. Despite
these discrepancies MPI and IMU accepted all the above four certificates without ensuring
whether they are legally enforceable. Furthermore, no penalty or legal action that could be
taken in the event the Contractor fails to promptly and completely attend to the repairs within
the ten year period is specified in the contract documents.

3.10.2 Repairs to Roof Leakages Within Guarantee Period
In Zone 1, Contractors did not respond promptly to certain requests, and/or reminders sent by
MPI for remedial works. Some did not respond at all. Remedial works carried out in some
cases were not complete. The outcome of these was that leakages and related inconveniences
continued. Examples are listed in Table 11.

Maintenance of Government Primary and Secondary School Buildings

34

Table 11 Delayed Response and Ineffective Remedial Works in Zone 1

School
Simadree
Virahsawmy
SSS

Dr James
Burty David
SSS

Port Louis
SSS (Girls)

Leakage and
Action Taken
Three Laboratories
and two Classroom
Blocks leaking
since 2008. Several
reminders, sent to
contractor by MPI

Leakages in
Physics and
Computer
Laboratories since
2010. Six
reminders sent to
Contractor
between May 2010
and April 2013
Leakages in
Science Block
started in 2013 and
were still persistent
in September 2014.
Several reminders
sent to Contractor
in 2014

Contractor’s
Effect
Response
Attended only one (out Exposed surface of Classroom
of four) site visit block rooftop imply profuse
organised by MPI. leakages. Classroom Blocks and
Started works in March laboratories cannot be used during
2013
on
one rainy periods. Rain water seeping
Classroom Block only. through electrical main board
Existing waterproofing causing damage to equipment. In
membranes
were July 2014, heavy leakages in
removed and surface Laboratories. Due to frequent
left exposed. Works short circuits, Computer Rooms
not completed.
were
put
out
of
use.
Inconvenience more severe during
examination periods.
Attended only one site Inconvenience caused by leakages
visit in October 2012. and risk of electrocution and
Remedial works started damages
to
material
and
in December 2013 equipment.
only.

Contractor has not yet
responded.

Leakages in Physics Laboratory
have caused inconvenience to
practical
examinations
in
September 2014.
Students not allowed in Biology
Laboratory for practical classes.

Source: School Files

In contrast, at QEC (Zone 2), repair works were given due attention and correctly executed at
its Multi Purpose Hall, in 2014.

3.10.3 Lapse of Guarantee
Conditions for the guarantee to stand include maintaining cleanliness of waterproofed roofs
and avoiding tampering or damage to the waterproofing membranes. Non-observance of
these by Schools has contributed to lapse of warranty. New works have had to be undertaken
to replace non-performing waterproofing membranes within their warranty terms. Examples
are listed in Table 12.

Maintenance of Government Primary and Secondary School Buildings

35

Table 12: Lapse of Guarantee and New Waterproofing Works
Zone/School/
Building

Original 10 Year
Warranty
Running Until

Zone 1/ Triolet
SSS (Boys)/
Science Block

Unknown*

Zone 2/QEC/
3 School Blocks

2019

Zone 2/
Quartier
Militaire SSS
(Girls)/ Science
Block

2019

Reasons for Warranty to Lapse

Cost of New
Waterproofing Works

No cleaning of waterproofed
rooftops and tampering

Rs 768,660
(WO issued in
November 2013)

Waterproofed rooftops not
maintained. Snapshots produced
by Contractor justifying lapse of
warranty showed thick layer of
debris (leaves, twigs and
branches) and growing
vegetation on Block C, spalled
concrete and plants on Block E,
and tampering of waterproofing
membrane on another block.
Tampering of waterproofing
membranes

Rs 3.4 million
(WO issued in
December 2014.)

Rs 1.23 million
WO issued in 2012 for
works on Science Block
(along with Visual
Art/Classroom and
Administrative blocks)

Source: School Files
*According to MPI, the works were still under the 10 year guarantee as of 2013

3.10.4 Untimely Follow up on Repairs to Leakages and Absence of Records
When leakages are experienced at Schools, reporting same is done as illustrated in Figure 2
for intervention by MPI’s DC and Subcontractor or Ministry/IMU selected Contractor.
School

Zone
Directorate

Ministry
(IMU)

MPI

District
Contractor

Waterproofing
Contractor

Figure 2: Reporting Leakages to Waterproofing Contractor
In all the cases examined, this process took several months and even years if one or more
stakeholders in the chain did not react promptly. There were cases where waterproofing
Contractors did not promptly attend to leakages despite several reminders. During this time,
the leakage problem aggravates and disrupts classes, particularly during rainy months. A few
examples are illustrated below.
At Pamplemousses GS (Zone 1), leakages in two classrooms were reported to MPI by IMU
on two occasions – August and November 2012. A review of file at MPI revealed that no
request was sent to the Contractor. In August 2014 (two years after IMU first notified MPI),

Maintenance of Government Primary and Secondary School Buildings

36

during a site visit, the classrooms were still suffering from leakages as the problem had not
been attended to.
In the case of the QEC (Zone 2), the Rector informed the Zone Directorate that in several
Blocks and buildings, there were leakages from roof and these were causing much
inconvenience to students and staff alike, in June 2012 and again in October 2013. On both
occasions, the urgency of the problem was highlighted, and a request to have it attended as
soon as possible was made. No positive response came from the Zone Directorate for these
two requests. It was in late January 2014 (about 1½ years later) that the Directorate informed
IMU about the problem and need for urgent action. A site visit by IMU followed in March
2014, and MPI was promptly informed of situation in the same month.
Non-responsiveness of Zone (2) Directorate was, also, noted at Petit Verger GS. Leakage in a
recently built Science Block at the School was notified to the Zone Directorate as early as
July 2010, and again in May 2013 and February 2014. All three requests were not attended
to. The Zone MU explained that it had informed the Ministry about this issue, but no
evidence could be gathered at the Directorate and the Ministry to support this claim. Positive
response came in May 2014 following a site visit by IMU Engineer (in the wake of the 50th
anniversary of the School celebrated in July 2014). The Ministry contacted MPI to call upon
the DC who constructed the building and carried the waterproofing works to attend to the
leakages. As of April 2015, the leakages have not yet been repaired.
Construction of this Block for teaching Science and ICT was completed in 2010 at a cost of
some Rs 1.85 million. Waterproofing works were undertaken on the roof slab, and such
works are still under warranty. Owing to leakages, only half of the building which
accommodates the ICT Classroom can be used. The other half where a mini Science
Laboratory is housed is being used as a store because of the leakage. No Science classes have
ever been held therein. Science Laboratory items purchased, thus, lie idle.
Not attending to the leakage problem, as early as possible, has cost and still costs the Ministry
the inability to run Science classes for the benefit of the School’s students. The benefits of
money invested on construction, waterproofing works and laboratory items are not being
fully derived.
The absence of records, also, affects repairs to works under warranty. Since 2008, there were
leakages in Block C which had been waterproofed in 2004/2005, at S Jugdambi SSS (Zone
1). No remedial works could be undertaken as there were no records on which Contractor
carried out the works still under guarantee. In December 2013, a WO amounting to Rs
541,875 was issued to the then DC to replace the non-performing membranes.

3.11 Cleaning of School Premises, Toilets and Roofs
One of the maintenance objectives is to keep facilities presentable, as well as enhancing the
health and safety of the occupants through daily housekeeping and cleaning. Daily cleaning
inside classrooms, offices, laboratories, gymnasiums and other facilities is ensured by School
Caretakers. Toilets are cleaned daily by personnel hired and paid for by the PTA. Cleaning of
other areas starting from the entrance of Schools and covering playgrounds, green areas,
corridors, staircases, drains, gardens and pavements, among others, are undertaken by private

Maintenance of Government Primary and Secondary School Buildings

37

Contractors. The latter offer daily and monthly cleaning services based on agreed schedules
for cleaning activities included in their contracts24.
Monitoring is done by School management, and monthly reports are sent to the Zone
Directorate. Each Head of School has to certify satisfactory delivery of service by PTA
Cleaners before the MEHR can refund to the PTA monies paid for the service. 25 For
Contractors, monthly returns and monitoring sheets need to be submitted by the Head of
School indicating the satisfactory (or otherwise) performance of each daily and monthly
cleaning activity set on the agreed schedules. Explanations for any adverse report must be
given. Zone Directorates review these documents before effecting payments. Contracts allow
liquidated damages at twice the daily remuneration rate payable for any service not provided
on site. Any other shortcomings are addressed to the Contractor by the Directorate.
Since mid-2012, the MEHR requested all Schools to ensure the regular maintenance and
cleaning of roofs.
The following observations were made:
 Liquidated damages at the appropriate rates were applied in Zone 2, but not in Zone 1, for
contractual services not rendered.
 The request made by MEHR to clean rooftops did not take into consideration difficulties
faced by Schools to do same. Heads of Schools visited reported that they did not have the
required equipment (ladder) and School personnel were not willing to do such job. Access
to rooftops and safety of cleaners were important issues preventing maintenance and
cleaning of roofs.
 Roof Cleaning was included in the (monthly cleaning) contracts signed for the
22 Schools/Institutions in Zone 2.26 This was a laudable initiative. However, roof
cleaning service and its monitoring were not adequate. During a visit to QEC (one of the
22 Schools/institutions) in August 2014, access to the roof tops was not possible, but from
and adjacent building, it was observed that the waterproofing membranes on one of the
blocks were covered at several places with leaves and debris. The inadequate service and
monitoring are best illustrated at the Directorate itself. In September 2014, the cleaning of
a roof surface by the Contractor was witnessed by my officers. A plant which could have
been more than two months old had grown on the waterproofing membrane and was not
uprooted.
The Ministry stated that appropriate action has already been initiated for regular maintenance
of roofs to prevent lapse of warranty in regards to waterproofing. It is expected that such
problems will be reduced to a minimum in the near future.
However, the difficulties mentioned above in implementing the initiative taken by the
Ministry and inadequate monitoring are preventing the proper maintenance of roofs.
24

Contracts for cleaning services for premises in Schools/institutions in all Zones were awarded by MEHR in
June 2012. The contracts were for a period of three years, renewable on an annual basis subject to satisfactory
performance of the Contractors. In March 2014, Zone 2 Directorate appointed cleaning service Contractors for
22 Schools/Institutions not covered under the MEHR contracts.
25
The refund relates to labour and travelling costs of Cleaners. Cleaning materials are provided by MEHR.
26
This activity was not available in the MEHR contracts with its selected Contractors, and so, no roof cleaning
was done in Zone 1 and at other than the 22 Schools/Institutions in Zone 2.

Maintenance of Government Primary and Secondary School Buildings

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CHAPTER FOUR
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
4.1 Conclusions
MEHR operates a maintenance system with a view to ensuring that Schools are kept in a
usable condition and running of classes are not disrupted. However, this system does not
provide for timely maintenance at least cost and of acceptable quality, at all times. This is due
to major constraints and non-adherence to certain good practices within the system.
The current maintenance system mainly focuses on corrective actions. The preventive
component that checks deteriorations from creeping in and ensures infrastructures are cared
for early is insufficient.
The system (for the corrective part), in general, has sound processes and good practices.
However, some of these are not being run in an efficient and effective manner. Planning,
monitoring, execution, supervision of maintenance jobs and contract management were not
always effective, and these affected the maintenance of School buildings.
At Zone level, planning, monitoring and supervision were inadequate. This created backlogs
of maintenance works. Some jobs could not be fully executed and were not of reasonable
quality. The Ministry is not efficient in making an optimum use of available labour resources.
Productive labour hours was not fully used.
Priority lists drawn for IMU and MPI works were followed. Terms of contracts (drawn with
selected Contractors) pertaining to start and completion dates, value (including Contingency
amounts), and liquidated damages for late delivery were applied by both IMU and MPI.
However, compliance with standards and specifications for works (included in contract
documents), appropriate level of workmanship and, thereby, quality of works were not
sufficiently ensured through an adequate level of supervision on most jobs.
The procurement system for materials, works and services is well established, followed and
allowed resources to be acquired at the least cost. The late or non-appointment of MPI DCs,
in recent years, had a negative effect. Jobs could not be carried out and created backlogs.
Available funds that could be used for these jobs could not be spent and lapsed.
Guarantee Certificates for waterproofing works examined did not conform to contract
requirements. Their validity could not be ascertained. Repairs to defects by Contractors,
within the guarantee period, were not prompt and complete. Several Schools had experienced
continued leakages that affected the smooth running of classes during the warranty periods.
Conditions for the guarantee to stand were not met by Schools and this caused the warranties
to lapse. Benefits of the warranties were not effectively derived. Costly new waterproofing
works had to be undertaken anew at some Schools. This is not economical.
Substantial grants were paid to Schools PTA and Zone Directorates approved maintenance
projects funded by same. A system for their supervision was, however, not available.

Maintenance of Government Primary and Secondary School Buildings

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4.2 Recommendations
To remedy the above, the following are recommended:

4.2.1 Preventive Maintenance
The Ministry should move towards preventive maintenance by using existing labour
resources. Checklists for all areas of a building to be inspected should be developed and
Zones’ MU personnel should be trained to do the inspections.
When Tradesmen are called for corrective maintenance in Schools, they should be asked to
carry out inspections of the whole building. For instance, a team of Plumbers mobilised to
attend to a request would easily carry a general survey of the piping/plumbing system of the
whole School following the attended request. When trained to spot problems in other areas,
burgeoning problems and the maintenance needs for the whole School could be identified. To
be effective, Heads of Schools should receive an inspection report/checklist from the MU
team for onward transmission to their respective Zone Directorates for action.

4.2.2 Periodic Review and Records on Conditions of Buildings
Zone Directorates should maintain an inventory of their School buildings and record
information on their conditions. Basic data should be recorded at School level, and technical
information by maintenance personnel. These should be updated with regular inspections and
after effecting maintenance works. The records kept would allow management to plan and
make decisions on maintenance works.

4.2.3 Budgeting
MEHR should use available funds fully for undertaking the maximum number of
maintenance works at Zone level. Zone Directorates should monitor their budgetary
allocations through updated financial status reports at each Infrastructure Committee
Meeting. This will help to ensure funds are available on time for all prioritised jobs through
appropriate requests for reallocations.

4.2.4 Maintenance Works Programme and Monitoring of Works
The Ministry should ensure that Zone Directorates submit their Implementation
Programmes/Plans and Quarterly Progress reports on the prioritised works. The Plans should
set time frames and define resource needs for each project. Quarterly progress reports should
reflect the status of execution of the works in relation to time, cost and quality. Quarterly
meetings between Ministry and each Zone should be held to monitor and follow projects.
Constraints and/or deviations from plans should be identified and addressed promptly.

Maintenance of Government Primary and Secondary School Buildings

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4.2.5 Maintenance Unit
 Proper plans of work should be prepared and approved. For each work, corresponding
request rotation number and estimated time frame for attending to it should be recorded.
 For major maintenance jobs handled by the Zone MU, milestones over the period of
execution should be set and constantly monitored. Any deviation should be investigated
and corrected.
 The Ministry should monitor the implementation of the plan to ensure maximum use of
available man hours. It may also consider having recourse to “Task Work” as described in
the PRB Report.
 Monitoring and supervision of works should be adequately carried out so that tasks are
fully completed to time, at reasonable cost and be of acceptable quality.

4.2.6 Supervision on IMU Works
IMU should ensure that works are executed as per contractual requirements. This can be done
through effective monitoring and supervision, and adequate contract management. During the
execution phase, the good practice to have proper documentation (including timely filing) on
all works carried out should be adopted.

4.2.7 Roof Cleaning at Schools
The Ministry should include roof cleaning in all its cleaning contracts for Schools. This
activity should be closely monitored. This will contribute to maintain waterproofing
membranes and meet an important condition for a warranty to stand.

4.2.8 Supervision on PTA Funded Maintenance Works
The Ministry needs to devise a system for supervision of maintenance works carried out by
PTA. Consideration may also be given for Zone maintenance personnel to assess the work
done before releasing payments to Contractors. This would ensure that jobs meet a minimum
standard and value for money is obtained from the grants disbursed to PTA.

4.2.9 Appointment of District Contractors by MPI
MPI should review its current time frame to complete the appointment of DCs. They need to
be appointed by year end so that works can be allocated early in the following year. This will
reduce delays to start maintenance works and also allow a maximum use of voted funds.

Maintenance of Government Primary and Secondary School Buildings

41

4.2.10 Supervision on MPI Works
MPI should ensure that works are executed as per requirements of the contract. This can be
done through effective monitoring and supervision, and adequate contract management.
During the execution phase, the good practice to have proper documentation (including
timely filing) on all works carried out should be adopted.

4.2.11 Guarantee Certificate
MPI should consider drafting an adequate and enforceable Guarantee Certificate with proper
wordings, setting out the responsibilities and liabilities of parties involved, to be included in
contracts drawn with its selected DCs. Pending this arrangement, reporting DCs whose
waterproofing Contractors have failed to promptly and completely attend to repairs under
warranty to the PPO for necessary action should be considered.
MPI should seek legal advice on the validity of guarantees already submitted.

Maintenance of Government Primary and Secondary School Buildings

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Ministry’s Reply
(a) The Ministry has been raising the issue of preventive maintenance with MPI and even at
the level of the Public Accounts Committee.
(b) There is a preventive maintenance strategy which includes inter-alia regular painting of
schools and institutions. Regular checks are also carried out by the Technical Officers and
the Engineers to detect possible spalling of concrete.
(c) There is proper planning of both major and minor maintenances to be carried out in any
new financial year. In this respect, the list of these works is well established in order of
priority and available at the Ministry.
(d) The backlog which may be attributed to the delay in appointment of DC is outside the
control of the Ministry as DCs are appointed by MPI.
(e) There is supervision of all works allocated to Contractors by both Officers of this
Ministry as client, and by Officers of the MPI as employer.
(f) When compared to the number of schools and colleges, it is obvious that the Maintenance
Unit is under staffed. This Ministry is in fact making optimum use of the labour force
available. However, it should be reckoned that these workers may be called upon to
operate within the framework of their scheme of duties.
(g) Appropriate action has already been initiated for regular maintenance of roofs to prevent
lapse of warranty in regards to waterproofing. It is expected that such problems will be
reduced to a minimum in the near future.
The Ministry has taken note of recommendations which may be put in place to improve the
system and appropriate actions are being taken at the level of the Ministry. Other
recommendations are being discussed with the MPI.

Maintenance of Government Primary and Secondary School Buildings

43

Maintenance of Government Primary and Secondary School Buildings

44

Appendix
Assessment Criteria – Specifications for Selected Works
Waterproofing
Works

Repair of
Cracks

Repairs to
Spalling
Concrete from
Ceiling

Painting

Contractor registered as specialist waterproofing Contractor with the MPI

Preparation of roof slab surface to receive new waterproofing membrane (usually
two layers), with approved materials and proper workmanship. This includes the
laying of a new roof screed of approved thickness and slope

No-ponding test to be performed to verify adequacy of screed slope (For IMU driven
works, this test is not included as a contractual requirement)

24 hours water test to be carried out to verify leakage. The test should be verified
and approved by the Engineer or representative

Submit a 10 year guarantee certificate against defects

Identification and marking of areas needing crack repairs in presence of the Engineer
or his representative

Preparation of surface, supply and application of approved product according to
Manufacturer’s specifications

Painting of repaired areas as required

Repairs to spalling concrete as per drawings

Supply of all necessary materials and plant

Apply approved materials to existing reinforcement bars

Apply, at spalled location of slab, appropriate and well compacted material to full
thickness and levelled to existing concrete

Concrete Surfaces

Removal of loose paint including washing with high pressure jet and repair of minor
cracks with crack filler

Preparation of surface including any treatment as required by Engineer and/or
specifications set by Manufacturer of approved product

Supply of paint as per specifications

Apply one coat of undercoat and two coats of paint

Metal surfaces

Removal of existing paint including cleaning

Preparation of surface and supply of paint as per specifications

Application of one coat of primer, undercoat and two coats hard gloss paint to
internal and external surfaces

Wooden surfaces

Removal of existing paint, including cleaning

Preparation of surface as required prior to painting works

Brushing of pore sealant to surface

Supply of paint as per specification

Application of priming coat and two coats hard gloss enamel

continued next page
Maintenance of Government Primary and Secondary School Buildings

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Appendix (continued)
Assessment Criteria – Specifications for Selected Works
Floor tiling
Tiling Works

Preparation of surface to receive new tiles, including levelling

Supply of all necessary materials and plant, including tile fix cement

Laying of tiles of approved colour, type and thickness

Filling of joints with cement based grout to Engineer’s approval

Wall Tiling

Wall tiles as specified. Usually, coloured glazed ceramic tiles of approved
manufacture, true to shape and free from blemishes

Backing coat for wall tiling to be in cement and sand mortar of appropriate thickness,
surface of which should be closely combed, while the mortar is still green and left for
a period of 24 hours

Tiles to be soaked in water for 30 minutes and bedded with an adhesive of the
approved manufacture

All tiles to be laid perfectly level, the joints to run straight horizontally and vertically,
and to be pointed in neat cement to an approved colour

Internal and external angles and rounded edges tiles to be of the same manufacture,
colour and thickness as the foregoing

Maintenance of Government Primary and Secondary School Buildings

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PERFORMANCE AUDIT REPORT

USE AND MAINTENANCE OF SPORTS FACILITIES

Ministry of Youth and Sports

July 2015

CONTENTS
Page
ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS

iii

GLOSSARY OF TERMS

iii

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

1

CHAPTER ONE – INTRODUCTION

5
5
6
7
7
7
7
8

1.1
1.2
1.3
1.4
1.5
1.6
1.7

Background
Audit Motivation
Audit Methodology
Audit Objective
Audit Scope
Method of Data Collection
Structure of the Report

CHAPTER TWO – DESCRIPTION OF THE AUDIT AREA
2.1 Sports Policy
2.2 Sports Section
2.3 Mauritius Sports Council
2.4 National Sports Federations
2.5 Description of Activities

9
9
9
9
10
10

CHAPTER THREE - FINDINGS AND ANALYSIS
3.1 Planning for the Use of Sports Facilities
3.2 Utilisation of Sports Facilities
3.3 Monitoring of Allocated Time
3.4 Sensitisation and Other Related Activities
3.5 Use of Fitness Equipment in Sports Facilities
3.6 Maintenance of Sports Facilities
3.7 Maintenance of Sports Equipment

13
13
13
17
17
18
18
20

CHAPTER FOUR – CONCLUSIONS

23

CHAPTER FIVE – RECOMMENDATIONS
5.1 Use of Sports Facilities
5.2 Maintenance of Sports Facilities

25
25
26

TABLES
1 Percentage of Population Practising a Sport
2 Sports Facilities under Control of MYS
3 Upgrading and Maintenance Cost for Period 2010 to 2014
4 Sports Facilities under Control of MYS, MSC and Federations
5 Weekly Allocation of Sports Facilities during 2014
6 Time Allocation at Swimming Pools
7 Time Allocation at Stadiums
8 Time Allocation at Football/ Training Grounds

5
5
6
10
14
14
15
16

Use and Maintenance of Sports Facilities

i

Use and Maintenance of Sports Facilities

ii

ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS
MSC
MYS
NAO
PBB

Mauritius Sports Council
Ministry of Youth and Sports
National Audit Office - Mauritius
Programme Based Budgeting

GLOSSARY OF TERMS
Sports Facility

A Facility that has been built to carry out sport activities. It
includes building, equipment and any other components
designed to serve the function of sport.

Utilisation Chart

Chart prepared by MSC showing weekly operating hours
available to Sports Federations, Schools, Organizations and
the public at Sports Facilities.

Fitness Equipment

Fitness equipment can be split into two basic areas, namely
an aerobic or cardio fitness equipment which is designed to
give a fitness workout to burn off calories and lose weight,
and a strength/muscular fitness equipment which is designed
to tone or increase in size bodies muscles.

Reactive Maintenance

Reactive maintenance is basically the “run it till it breaks”
maintenance mode. No actions or efforts are taken to
maintain the equipment as the designer originally intended to
ensure design life is reached.

Preventive Maintenance

Actions performed on a time- or machine-run-based schedule
that detect, preclude, or mitigate degradation of a component
or system with the aim of sustaining or extending its useful
life through controlling degradation to an acceptable level.

Available Time

Hours accessible to users from opening to closing of Sports
Facilities, excluding time for cleaning and other maintenance
works.

Allocated Time

Hours given to users at Facilities based on their requests

Use and Maintenance of Sports Facilities

iii

Use and Maintenance of Sports Facilities

iv

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
The objectives of the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MYS) are to provide adequate Sports
Facilities in all regions throughout the country, and to assist Sports Federations to promote
and develop their disciplines. It has a pool of 80 Sports Facilities, comprising Gymnasiums,
Stadiums, Swimming Pools, Tennis Courts, Football Playgrounds and Youth Centres. These
Facilities are managed by MYS, the Mauritius Sports Council (MSC) and Sports Federations.
For period 2010 to 2014, some Rs 221 million were spent on the upgrading and maintenance
of Sports Facilities. Despite the investment made by the MYS, the public was still not
satisfied about the services provided. Some of the dissatisfactions taken up by the local media
included Facilities are not available to public for practice of sports, opening hours are not
appropriate for public to get access to, and Facilities are not properly maintained.
The objective of this Performance Audit Report is to ascertain to what extent the MYS is able
to maximise use of Sports Facilities, and how these Facilities are maintained.

Key Findings
 MYS did not have a plan to maximise the use of the different Sports Facilities and to fully

implement its objectives of raising awareness on importance of sports and improving the
level of public participation.
 Several Sports Facilities were not used to their maximum. Available hours at the different
Facilities were not fully allocated to users. At one Swimming Pool and one Stadium, the
percentage of unallocated hours was 45 and 79 respectively. At present, MYS does not
have a mechanism to monitor the effective use of allocated time to different groups of
users. At Auguste Volaire Stadium, only 35 per cent of the allocated hours were actually
used, while at Le Pavillon and Rivière du Rempart Swimming Pool, the percentage was
56 and 64 respectively. As some 50 per cent of allocated hours at these Facilities were not
used, the risk that the man hours of officers directly related to the use thereof might not
have been effectively used during that time.
 The Ministry has constantly identified the lack of awareness on the importance of sports
and low participation in sport activities as a constraint. However, only a few sensitisation
activities have been carried out, and when these were organised, the participation was less
than expected.
 Although there is a maintenance policy, both MYS and MSC did not have a maintenance
plan. As a result, repairs were carried out on an ad-hoc basis upon request made by the
Officer in Charge of the Facilities. A condition survey of the Facilities has never been
carried out to evaluate their state in order to prepare such a plan. Repairs to Sports
Facilities by MYS were corrective, reactive and emergency nature, rather than preventive.

Use and Maintenance of Sports Facilities

1

Conclusion
Sports Facilities were not used to their maximum. Sports Federations were given priority for
use of Sports Facilities, and yet they were not fully utilising them. MYS did not carry out a
proper monitoring on use of Facilities. Information on the number of users at each Facility
was available at most Sports Facilities, but was not regularly submitted to the Ministry. The
allocated time was not fully used. This might result in ineffective use of available man hours
of officers posted to these Facilities.
One of the reasons identified by the MYS for not using its Facilities was lack of awareness by
the public on the importance of sports. The Ministry was not carrying out enough
sensitisation campaigns to encourage people to participate in sports activities. Besides, no
study has been carried out to identify other factors creating barriers for people to practice
sports activities so that corrective measures may be initiated.
Planning for maintenance works was not done. Maintenance works were carried out on an
ad-hoc basis. Priorities were given to emergency works, and surveys have not been conducted
to know the state of Sports Facilities.

Key Recommendations
 Use of Sports Facilities

Planning
MYS should promote a planned approach on the use of the different Sports Facilities.
Planning for the use thereof should be based on a robust and up-to-date assessment of
the needs of users. MYS should conduct a survey based on needs and demands from
the population in order to improve access to Sports Facilities.

Recording and Monitoring
MYS should put in place a mechanism to monitor regularly the time allocated for use
of the Sports Facilities to the different categories of users. Information on the number
of users at each Sports Facility should be made readily available to the Ministry for
appropriate control.
The Ministry should also carry out an exercise on unused man hours at the different
Sports Facilities. In case it is significant, consideration may be given to the
introduction of a roster/ shift system for the officers concerned.

Sensitisation
MYS should increase its sensitisation campaign to attract more users to the existing
Sports Facilities. A survey on needs and demands of the population in order to
improve access to Sports Facilities should be carried out by considering a variety of
methods and techniques.

Use and Maintenance of Sports Facilities

2

The Ministry may also consider soliciting the cooperation of the Ministry of Health
and Quality of Life and the Ministry of Education, Human Resources, Tertiary
Education and Science to achieve the objectives of reducing the prevalence of Non
Communicable Diseases and promoting sports for all.
 Maintenance
MYS should move towards a planned and proactive approach to maintain its different
Sports Facilities, focussing more on preventive maintenance. This will require the
development of a comprehensive Maintenance Plan. In order to develop the plan, MYS
should ensure that it has a complete database of all its Sports Facilities, and a mechanism
to identify and evaluate maintenance needs of the different Facilities through monthly
surveys, and carry out condition assessment of all its Facilities at regular intervals.

Use and Maintenance of Sports Facilities

3

Use and Maintenance of Sports Facilities

4

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background
In line with the National Action Plan for Physical Activities, the Ministry of Youth and
Sports (MYS) has set targets to achieve its objectives of improving participation in sports
activities by public, excellence in sports performance by athletes, and empower young
citizens for a better future. The targets as shown in Table 1 were set in the Programme Based
Budget (PBB) Estimates.
Table 1 Percentage of Population Practising a Sport

Outcome Indicator

2011
Actual

2012
Actual

2014
Target

2016
Target

2023
Target

16

17

19

22

>40

Percentage of the population practising
a sport at least 30 minutes per day
Source: MYS PBB Estimates for year 2013 and 2014

To achieve the above objectives, availability of infrastructure and Facilities, sensitization,
coaching, training, performance monitoring and administration and management are, amongst
others, critical success factors. MYS has some 80 Facilities around Mauritius as shown in
Table 2, as well as a Maintenance Unit dedicated for the repairs and maintenance of all these
Facilities.
Table 2 Sports Facilities under Control of MYS

Facility
Gymnasiums/ Sports Complex
Swimming Pools

Number
12
5

Youth Centres

30

Stadiums

11

Playgrounds/ Football Grounds

22

Total

80

Source: Ministry of Youth and Sports

The mission of MYS is to create an enabling environment and act as a catalyst and facilitator
for the promotion and development of youth and sports at regional, national and international
levels.

Use and Maintenance of Sports Facilities

5

1.2 Audit Motivation
For period 2010 to 2014, some Rs 221 million were spent on the upgrading and maintenance
of sports infrastructures, as shown in Table 3.
Table 3 Upgrading and Maintenance Cost for Period 2010 to 2014

Year

Upgrading
Rs million

Maintenance
Rs million

Total
Rs million

2010

23

13

36

2011

11

8

19

2012

7

19

26

2013

53

18

71

2014

54

15

69

Total

148

73

221

Source: Accountant General Report and Treasury Accounting System

Despite significant investment made by the MYS in the construction and maintenance of
Sports Facilities, the public was still not satisfied with the services provided. Some of the
dissatisfactions taken up by the local media were:
 Facilities were not available to the public for practising sports
 Opening hours were not appropriate for public to get access to Sports Facilities
 Sports Facilities were not properly maintained
The National Audit Office (NAO) has consistently reported that several shortcomings exist in
the maintenance of Sports Facilities, which may have an incidence on the use thereof. Some
of them were as follows:
 Delays in carrying out maintenance works. Faults reported by Sports Officers in charge of
Sports Facilities were attended to after several months.
 Works were of poor quality - for example drains were repaired at the George V Stadium,
but were not functioning well
 In several cases, assistance of Ministry of Public Infrastructure was not sought for
supervision of works, and hence, the poor quality of work.
In view of the above, the NAO carried out this Performance Audit on the “Use and
Maintenance of Sports Facilities”.

Use and Maintenance of Sports Facilities

6

1.3 Audit Methodology
The audit was conducted in accordance with International Organisations of Supreme Audit
Institutions Standards. Different methodologies were used to understand the audit area, along
with obtaining sufficient, relevant and reliable audit evidence that support the conclusions
and recommendations.

1.4 Audit Objective
The audit objective is to determine whether MYS has a mechanism to ascertain that the
Sports Facilities are used to their maximum and properly maintained.

1.5 Audit Scope
The focus of this audit was on the activities, processes and procedures at MYS on the use and
maintenance of Sports Facilities.
The audit covered the period 2010 to 2014. Data on use of Sports Facilities up to May 2015
were collected.
The audit was limited to all Facilities owned by MYS in Mauritius. Facilities provided by
Local Authorities, private entities, Schools and Colleges were excluded.

1.6 Method of Data Collection
In order to carry out the study, data were mainly collected from files, document reviews and
interviews. Site visits were also carried out at various Sports Facilities to confirm information
found in files.

1.6.1 Documents Reviewed
The Ministry’s documents were examined to ascertain the mandate, processes activities and
for information on use and maintenance of Sports Facilities, as well as sensitisation.

1.6.2 Personnel Interviewed
Interviews were carried out with staff of MYS and MSC for information on the system of
maintenance, use of Sports Facilities, sensitisation and to collect information relating to
system description, activities and processes.

Use and Maintenance of Sports Facilities

7

1.6.3 Observation
Site visits were carried out at Swimming Pools, Stadiums and Gymnasiums to get acquainted
with the activities carried out, to observe the state of the infrastructure, and to collect
information on use of Sports Facilities kept on site.

1.6.4 Sampling
In order to carry out this Performance Audit, records relating to use and maintenance of 15
Sports Facilities of MYS were examined. Three Stadiums, three Swimming Pools, seven
Gymnasiums, and two Youth Centres were also visited due to their frequency of use, location
and materiality in terms of recent investment.

1.7 Structure of the Audit Report
The remaining part of the Report covers the following:
 Chapter Two presents a Description of the Audit Area
 Chapter Three presents the Findings
 Chapter Four contains the Conclusion based on the findings and analysis.
 Chapter Five deals with Recommendations to address shortcomings identified in this
Report.

Use and Maintenance of Sports Facilities

8

CHAPTER TWO
DESCRIPTION OF THE AUDIT AREA
This Chapter provides background information on the role, activities and processes of the Ministry
of Youth and Sports, the Mauritius Sports Council and other stakeholders.

MYS deals with the formulation and implementation of Government policies in the field of
Youth and Sports and is divided into two main Sections, namely the Youth Section and the
Sports Section. To manage the Sports Facilities, the country is divided into 12 Regions, each
under the responsibility of a Sports Officer/Coach who is a Technician, primarily responsible
for the coordination of all activities of the Region, and is assisted by Coaches/Senior
Coaches, Advisers and Senior Sports Officers.

2.1 Sports Policy
MYS has a Sports Policy that aims at promoting the practice of physical activities and sports
among the citizens of Mauritius. The Policy is based on four pillars, namely High Level
Sports, Mass Sports/ Sports for All, Infrastructure and Training. Each of the pillars has
different objectives. These objectives include enabling the public to have greater access and
optimum use of existing sports infrastructures, and proper maintenance of sports facilities.

2.2 Sports Section
The Sports Section of the MYS aims at creating awareness on the practice of sports by
providing adequate means to all citizens. The objectives of the Sports Section are to:
 Provide adequate facilities in all Regions
 Devise appropriate training policy
 Open sports infrastructures to the public whenever possible
 Assist Sports Federations to promote and develop their disciplines.
In order to achieve its objectives, the Sports Section provides assistance to Federations for the
promotion of their disciplines, and support active participation in competitions at the national,
regional and international levels.

2.3 Mauritius Sports Council
The MSC was established under the Sports Act to support the MYS in planning, coordinating
and promoting recreational sports through financial, administrative and services assistance to
Sports Federations and other related Sports Bodies. Its main responsibilities are to manage
some of Government owned Sports Facilities around the country, including upgrading,
renovation and maintenance, and establishing conditions for their utilisation. These Facilities

Use and Maintenance of Sports Facilities

9

are used for training of national teams, conducting talent identification programmes, holding
of regional, national and international competitions, holding of seminars, workshops and
conferences, training of Technical Cadres, mass/leisure practice by the public.
The objectives of the MSC are to, among others:
 Develop and improve the practice of sports among the public at large in conjunction with
other bodies dealing with sports in general
 Foster and support the provision of facilities for sports
 Encourage and support other persons or bodies in carrying out research and studies in
matters concerning any sports and physical activities and dissemination of knowledge and
advice on these matters

2.4 National Sports Federations
In order to operate, the National Sports Federations have to be recognised by the MYS and
registered by the Registry of Associations. They are responsible to develop and promote the
practice of sports. They represent their particular sports discipline on the Mauritius Olympic
Committee. They operate at national level, organise national championship and engage
sportsmen in international competitions or games. They issue licences to members of Sport
Clubs enrolled with it and to Mauritian sportsman (that is, not member of a Sports Club who
wishes to participate in a competition or game).

2.5 Description of Activities
MYS has some 80 Facilities at different places around the country. Facilities which are
provided to different users against payment of a fee, like Swimming Pools, Gymnasiums/
Sports Complexes and Stadiums are entrusted to MSC, while the Ministry manages the Youth
Centres. As at December 2014, three Sports Facilities, namely Dojo Centre, Maryse Justin
Stadium and National Tennis Centre were managed by Sports Federations. Details of
Facilities and their responsibility for management are given in Table 4.
Table 4 Sports Facilities under Control of MYS, MSC and Federations
Number of
Facilities

MYS

Managed by
MSC Federations

Gymnasiums/ Sports Complexes
Swimming Pools
Youth Centres
Stadiums
Training Grounds/ Football Grounds

12
5
30
11
22

30
14

10
5
10
8

2
1
-

Total

80

44

33

3

Source: Mauritius Sports Council

Use and Maintenance of Sports Facilities

10

2.5.1 Use of Sports Facilities
Request for use of Sport Facilities from Federations, Schools and other organisations and the
public is made to the MSC. Once the request is approved, the MSC allocates the time slot
after obtaining confirmation from Officer in Charge of the Facility concerned for its
availability.
MSC keeps an Utilisation Chart giving time allocated for use on a weekly basis at a particular
Facility, and time allocated to different groups of users of that Facility. It is updated at the
start of the year in respect of Stadiums, Gymnasiums, Swimming Pools and Playgrounds, and
normally remains unchanged throughout the year. Bookings by Federations are made on a
yearly basis for everyday use. Remaining slots are allocated to Schools and Colleges, public
and other organisations. Bookings by individuals are made on a monthly basis, and renewed
each month subject to a maximum period of three consecutive months.
Priority for the use of Sports Facilities is given to Sports Federations for training of athletes,
in view of national and international competitions. For specific disciplines, namely boxing,
wrestling and weightlifting, the Facilities are reserved for them only. Swimming Pools,
Stadiums and Gymnasiums are opened to the public, Schools, Colleges and other
organisations for leisure.
2.5.2 Sensitisation and Other Related Activities
Sensitisation and other related activities are important to encourage the practice of sports.
Determinants of sports and physical activities are complex across participant’s lifecycle. For
children and the young, common motives for involvement in sports are fun, skill
development, affiliation, fitness, success and challenge. Younger adults are motivated by
challenge, skill development and fitness. Older adults are motivated by health benefits,
relaxation and enjoyment. MYS and MSC both carried those activities. MYS promotes sports
by organising annual sports competitions, such as “Jeux de L’Avenir” and “Jeux de
L’Espoir” for those aged 12-13 years and 14-15 years respectively, in collaboration with
Mauritius Secondary Schools Sports Association. It also organises “Salon de Jeunesse et
Sport” and “Sports for Life”. On the other hand, MSC carries “Sports Medicine Programme”
in Schools, Women Centres and Community Centres to raise awareness on good nutrition and
benefits of physical activities, and “Athlete of the Month” Award for students and “Keep Fit
Programme” for the public.
As for “Sports for Life”, the aims were to develop and promote a culture of sports among the
citizens and to reduce the prevalence of Non Communicable Diseases. It has several
components, including talks to sensitise the public on benefits of sports, “Swimming for
Health” and fitness exercises.
2.5.3 Maintenance of Sports Facilities
The Ministry has a Maintenance Unit which is responsible to carry out routine maintenance.
Whenever the need for a particular repair is identified, the Officer in Charge of the Sports
Facility makes a request to the Ministry. A site visit is effected by the Maintenance Unit to
evaluate the extent of works to be carried out. If it is below Rs 25,000, the Officer takes the
responsibility to undertake the repairs. For works exceeding Rs 25,000, the Ministry is
responsible for selecting Contractors to do the job.
Use and Maintenance of Sports Facilities

11

Use and Maintenance of Sports Facilities

12

CHAPTER THREE
FINDINGS
This Chapter describes the findings on whether MYS has adequate mechanism to ascertain that
Sports Facilities are used to their maximum and maintained properly.

3.1 Planning for the Use of Sports Facilities
Some of the Sports Facilities were not used to their maximum. With a view to addressing this
problem, MYS intended to come up with a long-term plan.
In the PBB Estimates 2009 (July – December 2009), it was stated that MYS will prepare a
new strategic plan for both Youth and Sports for period 2009-2014 by the end of December
2009. The objective was to have an improved operational framework to upgrade the level of
sports in Mauritius and to empower the youth. The idea was to give particular attention to all
students, youth, women and the general public for the promotion of sports. In the
Government Programme 2010-2015, it was further stated that “Government will come up
with a policy to democratise sports with a view to fostering a culture of sports among
Mauritian citizens”. Hence, all these actions were geared towards making full use of the
Facilities.
MYS identified several actions to achieve the different objectives of the four pillars in its
Sports Policy. However, these were not translated into a plan. In the absence of an actual plan
comprising activities to be implemented on a yearly basis, the resources required, assignment
of responsibilities, time frames for implementation of the different activities, as well as their
financing, MYS was facing difficulties to maximise the use of the different Sports Facilities.
Several shortcomings have been noted. In several cases, time available was not allocated to
users, and MYS did not use available information on records of attendance of users to
manage the use of Facilities. Hence, the Ministry was unable to fully implement its objectives
of raising awareness on importance of sports and improving the level of public participation.

3.2 Utilisation of Sports Facilities
Section 18 of the Sports Act requires the MSC to develop and improve the practice of sports
among the public at large, in conjunction with other bodies dealing with sports in general, as
well as to foster and support the provision of Sports Facilities. The Utilisation Charts of the
different Sports Facilities were analysed. Table 5 shows the number of hours per week
allocated to Sports Federations, Schools/other bodies and members of public at Swimming
Pools, Stadiums and Football/ Training Grounds during the year 2014. The weekly allocation
remains the same throughout the year, except when the Facilities are closed for major repairs.

Use and Maintenance of Sports Facilities

13

Table 5 Weekly Allocation of Sports Facilities during 2014

Swimming Pools
(Hours)
163

218

Football/
Training
Grounds (Hours)
82

74

166

119

Public

114

16

0

Total

351

400

201

Federations
School/ Public Bodies

Stadiums
(Hours)

Source: MSC Utilisation Charts

As shown in Table 5, the allocation of hours to users varied across different types of Sports
Facilities. Federations were given more time to practise sports in Swimming Pools and
Stadiums compared to Schools/ Public Bodies and the public. No time has been allocated to
the public at Football/ Training Grounds.
The Utilisation Charts of the different types of Sports Facilities for 2014 were further
analysed as follows:
3.2.1 Available and Allocated Hours – Swimming Pools
The opening and closing hours of the Swimming Pools varied, which made the time available
for use to differ. Table 6 shows the weekly time available for use and total time allocated to
users.
Table 6 Time Allocation at Swimming Pools

Swimming Pool

Opening Hour
– Closing Hour

Available
Hours

Allocated
Hours

Unallocated
Hours

Percentage
Unallocate
d Hours
(%)

Mare d’Albert

0500 - 2215

98

54

44

45

Serge Alfred

0530 - 2100

76

75

1

1

Le Pavillon

0500 - 2215

100

85

15

15

Rivière du Rempart

0615 - 2200

83

65

18

22

Souvenir

1000 - 2200*

77

70

7

9

Source: MSC Utilisation Charts
* Saturday: 0530 – 1900 hours and Sunday: 0530 – 1230 hours

The total hours available and allocated also varied from one Swimming Pool to another. Mare
d’Albert Swimming Pool had 44 hours of unallocated time, whereas for Serge Alfred, only

Use and Maintenance of Sports Facilities

14

one hour time was unallocated. Total weekly available hours not allocated as a percentage of
available hours at Rivière du Rempart, Le Pavillon, Souvenir and Mare d'Albert Swimming
Pools varied from nine to 45 per cent.
According to the Ministry, the analysis for the available hours and allocated hours at
Swimming Pools does not seem to have taken into account population density around the
Facilities, and accessibility including hours of operation of the public transport system.
However, the above analysis was based on the whole population of Swimming Pools. The
factors the Ministry mentioned above should have been taken into consideration prior to the
construction of the Sports Facilities.
3.2.2 Available and Allocated Hours – Stadiums
The public has access to stadiums for jogging purposes in the morning, except at St François
Xavier Stadium, Harry Latour Stadium and Quartier Militaire Stadium. Of the 11 existing
stadiums, George V Stadium and Maryse Justin Stadium were reserved for national teams,
competitions and for training by high level athletes.
The opening and closing hours of stadiums varied as well. Harry Latour Stadium opened at
0900 hours, compared to the other Stadiums where the opening hour was 0600 hours. Saint
François Xavier Stadium was the earliest to close at 1900 hours instead of the usual
2200 hours. Consequently, fewer hours were available for use at Harry Latour and Saint
François Xavier Stadiums. Table 7 shows the weekly time available for use and total time
allocated to users.
Table 7 Time Allocation at Stadiums

Stadium

Opening Hour
– Closing Hour

Available
Hours

Allocated
Hours

Unallocated
Hours

Percentage
Unallocated
Hours (%)

Anjalay

0600 - 2200

112

80

32

29

Auguste Volaire

0600 - 2200

112

51

61

54

Rose Belle

0600 - 2200

112

42

70

63

St François Xavier

0600 - 1900

91

19

72

79

Sir R Ghurburrun

0600 - 2200

112

43

69

62

Rohit Boolakee

0600 - 2130

102

33

69

68

Germain Commarmond

0600 - 2200

112

62

50

45

Harry Latour

0900 - 2130

81

43

38

47

Quartier Militaire

0600 - 2200

112

31

81

72

Source: MSC Utilisation Charts

Use and Maintenance of Sports Facilities

15

The percentage of unallocated hours varied from 29 per cent at Anjalay Stadium to as high as
79 per cent at Saint François Xavier Stadium.
The Ministry stated that almost all the stadiums have natural grass as turf and this has a
limitation on the number of hours during which regular use can be allowed. Anjalay, Auguste
Volaire and Germain Commarmond are national stadiums, unlike the others. Saint François
Xavier does not have a lighting system and has to close early.
Yet, according to the findings above, the number of hours allocated weekly by MYS for their
use was as high as 62 and 80 at Germain Commarmond and at Anjalay Stadium respectively.
3.2.3 Available and Allocated Hours – Football/ Training Grounds
Football/ Training Grounds were opened from 0600 hours to 2200 hours. Table 8 shows total
weekly hours available and number of hours allocated to users at five Football/ Training
Grounds on a weekly basis based on Utilisation Charts obtained from MSC.
Table 8 Time Allocation at Football/ Training Grounds

Football/Training
Grounds

G. Commarmond
Training Ground
Anjalay Training
Ground
Morc St André
Football Ground
Plaines des Papayes
Football Ground
Arsenal Football
Ground

Opening Hour
– Closing Hour

Available
Hours

Allocated
Hours

Unallocated
Hours

Percentage
Unallocated
Hours (%)

0600 - 2200

112

32

80

71

0600 - 2200

112

44

68

61

0600 - 2200

112

56

56

50

0600 - 2200

112

50

62

55

0600 - 2200

112

20

92

82

Source: MSC Utilisation Charts

The time available at all the Football/ Training Grounds was not fully allocated. At
Morcellement St André and Plaines des Papayes Football Grounds, 30 hours were allocated
for use to Schools on weekdays from 0800 to 1400 hours. The other Football/ Training
Grounds were reserved for use by Clubs registered with the Football Federations.
The percentage of unallocated hours at Football Grounds varied from 50 per cent at
Morcellement Saint André to as high as 82 per cent at Arsenal.
The Ministry contended that during certain hours of the day, Sports Facilities are not utilised/
underutilised as the users of these Facilities are mostly students and youngsters who are
required to attend educational institutions between 0800 and 1500 hours during weekdays. As
regards the other categories of users, most of them are at work till late in the evening.

Use and Maintenance of Sports Facilities

16

Consequently, most of the Facilities are not being utilised except by national Sports
Federations, Sports Clubs, certain individuals, Corporate Bodies, and schools having
structured programmes and Spots Days.
However, according to our findings, MYS had allocated slots from 0800 to 1500 hours on
every week days at most Sports Facilities to schools.

3.3 Monitoring of Allocated Time
It is important for the Ministry to monitor the allocated time to ensure that its objectives of
improving participation in sports activities by public and excellence in sports performance by
athletes are met. At present, MYS does not have a mechanism to monitor the effective use of
allocated time to different groups of users. All Officers in Charge of Sports Facilities are
required to submit regular reports to the Ministry, through Senior Sports Officers, regarding
management of the Facilities. Presently, information collected is limited to time and the
number of users attending the Sports Facilities. Information on time available, allocated and
actually used is kept on site, and not reported regularly to MYS and MSC. My Officers
collected and analysed information for four weeks on three Sports Facilities. The time
allocated was not fully used.
At Auguste Volaire Stadium, for the period 1 to 28 February 2015, out of 356 hours allocated
to various groups of users, only 123 hours were actually used, that is some 35 per cent. The
Stadium was not used at all on two days in February 2015. As for Rivière du Rempart
Swimming Pool, some 120 hours out of 188 hours allocated during the period 1 to 28 April
2015 (some 64 per cent) were used. On three of these days, the Swimming Pool was used for
about one hour only. During the Easter Holidays, the percentage was lower, when only some
43 per cent of the hours allocated were actually used. At Le Pavillon Swimming Pool, of the
340 hours allocated during the period 1 to 28 February 2015, 192 hours were used, that is
some 56 per cent. The Swimming Pool was not used on the three Public Holidays of the
month.
On these three Sports Facilities, staff such as Sports Officer, Coach, Swimming Pool
Attendant, Technician and Handyworker are posted. Officers directly related to the use of the
Facilities are usually available during hours allocated to different groups of users. As some
50 per cent of these allocated hours (884 hours) were not used, there is the risk that the man
hours of these officers might not have been effectively used during that time.

3.4 Sensitisation and Other Related Activities
Lack of awareness on the importance of sports and low participation in sport activities had
been constantly identified by the Ministry as a constraint in the PBB Estimates for the years
2011 to 2014. It intended to carry out several activities, such as intensive use of mobile
phones and SMS, and the use of media and Public Relation activities to raise awareness on
the importance of sports. However, none of these activities were carried out.
In the context of “Sports for Life”, several talks were planned to be held across the country
during 2013. None was held. A minimum of 2,400 participants was also targeted in the same

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year for the “Swimming for Health” Programme and the fitness activities. However, only
some 600 attended these activities.
For “Jeux de l”Avenir” and “Jeux de l’Espoir”, during the period 2011 to 2013, only a yearly
average of some seven per cent of the population of the respective age group participated.
The only sensitisation activity carried out by the Ministry was in August 2013, when a “Salon
Jeunesse et Sport” was held with a view to helping people to acquire the maximum
information on sports and leisure activities. Some 3,000 persons attended the Salon. This was
not a planned activity, and some Rs 400,000 were spent.
According to the Sports Act, MSC shall develop and improve among the public at large the
practice of sport in conjunction with the relevant Sports Organisations. Since 2011, MSC has
been carrying out mainly the Sports Medicine Programmes to raise awareness on good
nutrition and benefit of physical activities.There was no monitoring to evaluate how far these
sensitization programmes were successful.

3.5 Use of Fitness Equipment in Sports Facilities
A sum of Rs 1.5 million was disbursed during 2010 for the purchase of fitness equipment.
These were distributed to 11 Youth Centres, two Sports Complexes and one Stadium. The
objective was to provide to the general public, from 9 to 99 years, opportunities to perform
regular exercise for a healthier life. Site visits at Sports Facilities, where these items of
equipment were distributed, were effected during the period September to December 2014.
The following observations were made:
 At Vacoas Sports Complex, fitness equipment was kept in a locked storeroom. Equipment
being kept idle included a Motorised Treadmill, Electrical Bicycle and Slimming
Machine.
 At Pamplemousses Youth Centre, in July 2014, one Motorised treadmill, one Fit Massage
and one Abdominal Bench were written off. A Rowing Machine was broken since
October 2014. These items of equipment were not being repaired, and this was attributed
to non availability of spare parts.
 Users are required to follow guidance and instruction of a Coach when using a fitness
equipment. There was no Coach posted at the Centres. However, local staff was trained to
oversee the use of the equipment by the public. Nevertheless, users were using the
equipment at their own risks. Inappropriate use of fitness equipment may lead to injuries.

3.6 Maintenance of Sport Facilities
MYS has a portfolio of some 80 Sports Facilities, ranging from Stadiums to Swimming
Pools, Gymnasiums, Football Grounds and Youth Centres. All these facilities are used daily
and need to be maintained properly so as to minimise the risk of hindrance and to keep these
assets in good condition.

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3.6.1 Maintenance Management Practices at MYS
Maintenance management of buildings is part of the overall physical assets management.
Generally accepted practices1 in maintenance management include:
 preparation of a maintenance plan, incorporating a balance of planned maintenance
(preventive and corrective) and unplanned maintenance (reactive and emergency) over
the immediate, medium and long terms, and
 establishment of a periodic review and record of conditions of buildings
An examination of the maintenance practices at MYS showed the following:
Maintenance Plan
Presently, MYS has a maintenance policy. However, this was not followed by a maintenance
plan that balances short term and long term needs for maintenance works. At the Ministry,
maintenance activities were of corrective, reactive and emergency nature - preventive
maintenance was missing. The latter is an important component that ensures infrastructures
are cared for early, and thereby, checks deteriorations (that may be disruptive and costly to
deal with at a later stage) from creeping in. Good practice requires inclusion of preventive
maintenance as part of overall maintenance.
Some of the Facilities of the Ministry are also maintained by the MSC. The latter carries out
routine maintenance works in an unplanned manner.
Periodic Review and Records of Conditions of Sports Facilities
Recording. The Investment Project Process Manual stipulates that all assets under use by a
Ministry shall be recorded and properly maintained. To that effect, the Ministry needs to have
a proper list of all infrastructures/facilities under its responsibility, including cost, date of
construction, location and the state of the infrastructure.
MYS does not have a complete database of all its Facilities. There is a list of all Facilities, but
information, such as date of construction and cost thereof was not in the list. There was also
no evidence that a condition survey was carried out to know the state of buildings
Physical Survey. In February 2011, the Ministry requested all Officers in Charge of Sports
Facilities to carry out a survey on the general condition of their respective Facilities on a
monthly basis. As of May 2013, out of 80 Facilities, some 70 Officers in Charge of the
Facilities responded to the request. Subsequently, surveys were being carried out irregularly.
Condition Assessment. It is a good practice and also a norm in several countries to carry out a
condition assessment at regular intervals. A condition assessment is a technical inspection by
a competent assessor to evaluate the physical state of building elements and services, and to
assess the maintenance needs of the Facility. The assessment will provide sufficient
1

A number of literatures on maintenance contain almost similar practices. The main documents consulted are:
Guidelines for Physical Asset Management issued in 2006 by the then MAB (now Office of Public Sector
Governance) and Maintenance Management Framework, Queensland Government, Australia.

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information on the condition of the building to support informed asset management decisions.
Condition assessment is normally carried out every three to five years. The “Maintenance
Management Framework” on Government Building of Queensland of Australia2 requires
condition assessment to be carried out every three years.
A condition assessment of the Facilities has never been carried out by MYS to evaluate the
state of the Facilities. In the absence of periodic review of the conditions of the Sports
Facilities, my Officers carried out site visits on 20 May and 16 September 2014.
There were leaks at several places, such as on the roof of the Weight Lifting Room of Pandit
Sahadeo Gymnasium, roof of Weight Lifting Room of George V Stadium, and on the ceiling
of the Administrative Block, stairs, dormitory rooms, kitchen and store of Anjalay Stadium.
There was rust in the structure of George V Stadium and corrugated iron sheets on the roof.
Although the Stadium was closed for repairs, there were birds’ wastes which rendered it
untidy. Cleaning of metal structure and stairs was not done properly. Grass was growing on
the roof of the Stadium. Also, there was rust on the structure of the building of Anjalay
Stadium.

3.7 Maintenance of Sports Equipment
MYS makes use of several types of sports equipment, mainly Fitness Equipment, Swimming
Pool Equipment and Safety Equipment.
In order to carry out its operations properly, the MYS has to ensure that the above items of
equipment are kept in proper condition at all times. This would imply that it should take
appropriate action to prevent equipment from failing or to repair normal equipment
degradation experienced with the operation of the device to keep it in proper working order.
Over the years, different approaches on how maintenance can be performed to ensure item of
equipment reaches or exceeds its design life have been developed, for example reactive
maintenance, preventive maintenance or predictive maintenance.
MYS concentrates on reactive maintenance, as repairs are done as and when they occur.
The Physical Assets Management Manual provides that all equipment in each Ministry/
Department should be classified in two categories, namely those that are under preventive
maintenance contract and those that are to be maintained by the department itself. The
maintenance contracts have to be entered into and/ or renewed before the expiry of the
warranty period or the previous maintenance contract. For this purpose, the action has to be
initiated well in time.
MYS does not have any maintenance contract for equipment used at different Sports
Facilities. All maintenance work is carried out by the Maintenance Unit, Energy Service
Division and private contractors, as and when needed. Although it was decided since
September 2011, that the Ministry would have maintenance contracts for fitness equipment
2

Maintenance Management Framework policy document contains the policy requirements and general
information for Queensland Government departments about relevant asset management principles and practices
(2012).

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after one year of purchase, as of March 2015, no such action was taken for its fitness
equipment. Hence, MYS was facing difficulties in repairing some of its fitness equipment for
want of spare parts.
During site visits at the Beau Bassin Gymnasium in May 2014 and May 2015, it was noted
that the fitness equipment was broken. It was stated that it had broken down since long, and
could not be repaired because of non availability of spare parts.

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CHAPTER FOUR
CONCLUSION
Over the years, Government has invested heavily on Sports Facilities for the benefits of users.
The time available and allocated to users differed for the different categories of Sports
Facilities. The unallocated time was significant for most of these Facilities. Moreover, the
allocated time was not fully used. Hence, there is a risk that the man hours of officers directly
related to the use of the Facilities might not have been effectively used.
MYS did not have a mechanism to ensure that its Sports Facilities were used to their
maximum. Also, MYS did not carry out a proper monitoring on how many users were
actually using its Facilities. Information on the number of users at each Facility were
available at most Sports Facilities, but was not regularly submitted to the Ministry.
One of the reasons identified by the MYS for not using its Facilities was lack of awareness by
the public on importance of sports, and yet the Ministry was not carrying out enough
sensitisation campaigns to encourage people to participate in sports activities. Besides, no
study has been carried out to identify other factors creating barriers for people to practice
sports activities so that corrective measures may be initiated.
Also, MYS did not have a proper mechanism to ensure that the Sports Facilities are properly
maintained. MYS did not plan for its maintenance works. Works are normally carried out on
an ad-hoc basis. Priorities were given to emergency works and regular surveys have not been
conducted to ascertain the condition of the Sports Facilities.

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CHAPTER FIVE
RECOMMENDATIONS
In the light of the audit findings and conclusion, hereunder are the recommendations on the
use and maintenance of Sports Facilities:

5.1 Use of Sports Facilities
5.1.1 Planning
MYS should promote a planned approach on the use of Sports Facilities. Planning for the use
of the different Sports Facilities should be based on a robust and up-to-date assessment of the
needs of users. MYS should conduct a survey based on needs and demands from the
population in order to improve access to Sports Facilities. This will help MYS to make the
best use of existing Sports Facilities through improving their quality, access and management
and to democratise sports with a view to fostering the culture of sports among Mauritian
citizens.

5.1.2 Recording and Monitoring
MYS should put in place a mechanism to monitor regularly the time allocated for use of the
Sports Facilities to the different categories of users. Information on the number of users at
each Sports Facility should be made readily available to the Ministry for appropriate control.
This will help MYS to identify hours allocated but not utilized. Same could be allocated to
other users willing to use the Sports Facilities.
The Ministry should also carry out an exercise on unused man hours at the different Sports
Facilities. In case it is significant, consideration may be given to the introduction of a roster/
shift system for the officers concerned.

5.1.3 Sensitisation and Other Related Activities
MYS should increase its sensitisation campaign to attract more users to the existing Sports
Facilities. A survey on needs and demands of the population in order to improve access to
Sports Facilities should be carried out. It may consider a wide variety of methods and
techniques that are available for developing public sensitization and raising the awareness
level, which can be adopted to promote the use of Sports Facilities, namely:
(a) Awareness raising workshops with the communities
(b) Regular information workshops explaining the status of the project and its activities
(c) Experience sharing/exposure visits

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(d) Participation and involvement
(e) Engaging the media and other institutions
(f) Popular personalities
(g) School programs
The Ministry may consider soliciting the cooperation of the Ministry of Health and Quality of
Life and the Ministry of Education, Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Science to
achieve the objectives of reducing the prevalence of Non Communicable Diseases and
promoting sports for all.

5.2 Maintenance of Sports Facilities
MYS should move towards a planned and proactive approach to maintain its different Sports
Facilities, focussing more on preventive maintenance. This will require the development of a
comprehensive maintenance plan that includes the following:
 A priority list of maintenance works to be carried out
 A time frame for the implementation of the different maintenance works
 Resources needed to carry out the maintenance works
 How to carry out maintenance works - in house or outsource
In order to develop the maintenance plan, MYS should ensure that it has
 A complete database of all its Sports Facilities. The database should include information,
such as cost, condition of each asset, date of purchase, maintenance and economic life
details of the assets and their replacement cost.
 A mechanism to identify and evaluate maintenance needs of the different Facilities,
including equipment through monthly surveys, and carry out condition assessment of all
its Facilities, at regular intervals, for example every three to five years.
MYS may consider using the checklist which is provided as part of the Physical Assets
Management Manual in which it is clearly indicated which type of maintenance should be
done daily, weekly, monthly and annually.
Ministry’s Reply
(a) The website of the Ministry is also being reviewed to give more information on its
activities. The Ministry is also in the process of coming up with a half-yearly magazine
with all relevant information in respect of its activities, as well as activities at the level of
Sports Federations.

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(b) A Memorandum of Understanding is being worked out with the Ministry of Education,
Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Science and relevant stakeholders to promote
sports through the optimum utilisation of Sports Facilities available.
(c) A Guideline for the Maintenance of Sports Infrastructures has been devised and circulated
to all Officers in Charge.
(d) During certain hours of the day, Sports Facilities are not being utilised/ under-utilised as
users of these Facilities are mostly students and youngsters who are required to attend
educational institutions between 8.00 and 15.00 hours during weekdays. As regard the
other categories of users, most of them are at work till late in the evening. Consequently,
most of the Facilities are not being fully utilised, except by National Sports Federations,
Sports Clubs, certain individuals, Corporate Bodies, and schools having structured
programmes and Sports Days.
(e) The analysis for available hours and allocated hours at Swimming Pools does not seem to
have taken into account population density around the Facilities, and accessibility
including hours of operation of the public transport system.
(f) Almost all the stadia have natural grass as turf and this has a limitation on the number of
hours during which regular use can be allowed. Anjalay, Auguste Volaire and Germain
Commarmond are national stadia, unlike the others. Saint François Xavier Stadium does
not have a lighting system and has to close early.

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