Staff recklessness that led to the theft, damage and loss of office assets came at a cost to the Bureau of Statistics.
An audit of the Bureau of Statistics’ books by the Audit Office, for the financial year 2012-2013, has revealed that the cost of employee theft, damage and loss of office assets totaled $38,492.
On top of that the decision by the Bureau to get vehicles — which were on hire to the office — to refuel at a Government-run bowser did not go down well with the auditors, as the rental vehicles were not on an approved list that could refill at a Government-owned bowser.
“These vehicles were replacement of the vehicles in the list. Audit could not confirm any documentation for such replacement and any changes.
“It was confirmed that there was no formal request to fill in the above vehicles at the Government Bowser.
“The usage of these vehicles during that time was confirmed via telephone communication between the Office and Ministry of Finance staff at the Government Bowser,” stated the audit report.
According to the audit report, there was a need for the Bureau to put in place an effective fuel management consumption plan for the future.
“Proper documentation is encouraged with all divisions responsible for hiring vehicles to ensure that such issues won’t be repeated.”
The audit report also highlighted the absence of a register for certificates which were issued to members of the public at births, deaths and marriages.
It is understood a program known as the Life Data System was installed at the Bureau, but the machine could not generate any reports for the certificates that were issued.
In response to the audit report’s concerns at the absence of a certificate registry, the Bureau said it wrote to the Office of the Attorney General to consider terminating the contract of the overseas supplier.
“This is due to issues that we have raised with the contractor. However, it has never been resolved. We have sought assistance from one IT company in Samoa, which has the potential of carrying out this maintenance service of the system, at a much lower cost and in a convenient manner.”
The increasing cost of the Bureau’s telephone bills—for the first six months of the financial year from July to December 2011—also came under the audit’s scrutiny. But the Bureau, in response to the concerns, said at that time they ran the population census, which required the use of telephones.