Lack of contracts worry auditors

By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu ,

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Lady Samoa III ferry to Savaii.

Lady Samoa III ferry to Savaii. (Photo: Misiona Simo/Samoa Observer)

An audit of the Samoa Shipping Corporation (S.S.C.) has exposed the lack of employment contracts for the Chief Executive Officer and the Assistant Chief Executive Officers.

An audit of the Financial Years 2013-2014 and 2015 by the Office of Audit has uncovered the absence of proper employee records, leave records of employees serving on vessels as well as an inability to determine the entitlements of senior management staff.

“There were no employment contracts for the C.E.O. and also for all A.C.E.O. of the corporation. The terms and conditions in addition to entitlements paid to these contracted officers could not be verified due to the absence of the employment contract,” the Office of Audit report stated. 

But the S.S.C., in response to the findings, said they have explained themselves during the audit exercise, notably the reason behind the lack of employment contracts for senior staff such as the C.E.O. and A.C.E.O.” 

“As employees of Government, they are not obligated to draw up their contracts and sign it themselves as this is the responsibility for the Office of the Attorney General, who has been instructed by Cabinet upon their appointment to prepare their contracts for signing.  Up until now, they haven’t signed contract hence the reason for its nonexistence,” the S.S.C. stated.

A ‘weakness’ that the audit exercise discovered was the preparation of the corporation’s payroll, which was done by an A.C.E.O. (finance).

“Audit’s concern is that there is no segregation of duties in place for the processing of the payroll. As most of the tasks like calculation of deductions, changes of rates, inputs of new recruits and so forth are basically done by A.C.E.O. (finance).”

The decision to also give the manager for marketing total human resource responsibilities did not go down well with the auditors. 

“This indicates poor controls by no segregation of duties, and as a result the outcomes for both areas will be unsatisfactory since it’s overloading and marketing functions and responsibilities extensively varies from human resources functions and responsibilities.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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