Nutrition Products Limited (NPL)
As part of our annual strategic audit planning process, we assessed the risks to achieving the six essential elements identified in the Vision 2030 Jamaica National Development Plan (NDP) to enhance the quality of life for all Jamaicans. Nutrition is listed among the six essential elements, with the need to support adequate nutrition at schools noted as one of the priority sector strategies outlined under National Outcome #1: A Healthy and Stable Population. Nutrition Products Limited (NPL) is a major component of the National School Feeding Programme and its role is central to the strategy in supporting adequate nutrition at schools, given its mission to produce and distribute nutritious meals to school children at the lowest possible cost, utilizing local resources whenever possible. Most of the over 97,000 beneficiaries, enrolled under the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH), are primary school students who received free meals aimed at providing them with a third of the daily caloric nutritional needs required to aid in their learning and attendance, given their economic vulnerability.
The Government of Jamaica provided $5.5 billion to NPL, between 2015-16 and 2020-21. Given the level of funding, NPL was expected to implement strong systems of internal controls to allow for the prudent management of funds to meet its mandate. NPL’s role in contributing to Jamaica supporting adequate nutrition in school makes it a priority area in the AuGD’s strategic audit plan. I commissioned an audit of NPL given the adverse findings from our audit of NPL published in November 2012, coupled with recent concerns about NPL’s resource management. The audit reviewed four key areas of NPL’s operation, production and distribution, procurement, quality standards and strategic oversight, central to achieving its mandate.