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Where Are The Vouchers?

The recurring problem of missing vouchers in Government ministries has the Public Accounts Committee concerned. The PAC is considering ordering a ministry-wide investigation into the problem. The Committee members were
28 Jan 2015 10:25
Where Are The Vouchers?

The recurring problem of missing vouchers in Government ministries has the Public Accounts Committee concerned.

The PAC is considering ordering a ministry-wide investigation into the problem.

The Committee members were not happy with the Ministry of Finance’s explanation that ‘root causes’ of the problem, like staffing deficits, compounded the problem.

“The Ministry of Finance is trying to excuse the problem.

“People are paid for a job, they should do their job,” said Sanjit Patel, Government member of the Committee.

“With all due respect to the ministry, we expect problems to be reduced,” said Government Whip Semi Koroilavesau.

The committee reiterated its concerns about recurring issues highlighted by the previous Public Accounts Committee report on the Auditor-Generals report of 2007.

 

– FNPF and VAT  reconciliation:

Committee chairman Biman Prasad pointed out that these issues even appeared in the 2013 Auditor-General’s Report.

The Ministry of Justice was put under the spotlight yesterday for these issues.

“Government should be the one setting the example on this,” Mr Patel said.

Outstanding accountable advances:

The Ministry of Finance’s Emosi Dovibua explained that this problem occured when officers failed to acquit their advances when they returned from a trip and were required for another local or overseas trip shortly after their arrival.

He explained that they were now refusing to releases additional advances until previous advances had been acquitted.

 

Lack of oversight by Ministry of Finance:

Government Whip Semi Koroilavesau was concerned that there were not enough controls in place to police the 2015 National Budget.

“Does the Ministry of Finance have the power to oversee the expenditure for the 52 heads or will they dictate the system,” he said.

The committee will work towards recommendations to centralise audit control and empower the ministry to take other ministries to task for non-compliance with requests for information.

 

Double payment of salaries:

The Ministry of Education was under scrutiny yesterday and the committee recommended that these monies be recovered as soon as possible.

 

Use of private garages:

It was revealed that most Government ministries relied on private garages for the maintenance of their fleet of vehicles.

However, the committee expressed concern about the lack of transparency of the processes in acquiring these services.

 

Hiring of temporary workers:

Mr Dovibua explained that temporary workers were hired to fill in gaps in human resources. However, the committee wanted clarity on the processes of recruitment and employment.

The committee will meet today, starting at 9am, to discuss the report and recommendations of the 2009 Public Accounts Report.

Feedback: josuat@fijisun.com.fj

 

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