Audit uncovers salary overpayments

The Audit Office has uncovered two salary overpayments that totaled over $8000 at the Ministry of Finance over a four-year period.

The payments were for bureaucrats who had already resigned from the Ministry but continued to get paid by the Government six months after their exit. The overpayments were for the financial periods 2009-2012.

According to the Audit Report, one of the salary overpayments - based on a review of an employee’s personal file - was for an employee who resigned October 16, 2009 but still received his pay until the March 7, 2010 pay period. The salary transaction was for the financial year 2009-2010 and totaled $7,716.

Another employee resigned January 20, 2012 but continued to receive his salary until February 5, 2012 when it was ceased. The overpayment totaled $1,057.77 and was for the financial year 2011-2012. 

While the Audit Report acknowledged the work in progress at the Ministry’s legal unit to develop appropriate measures to effect deductions, it noted the absence of approvals from the Chief Executive Officers and Assistant Chief Executive Officers on employees’ leave application forms. 

“All leave were supposed to be approved by A.C.E.O. and C.E.O. The leave being quoted were approved verbally by A.C.E.O. but staff genuinely forgot to complete the leave form. We are constantly reminding staff to ensure leave forms are completed prior to taking leave. Some of these leave applications were either conveyed through the telephone or verbal communication to their respective supervisors.”

The Audit Report also noted discrepancies in how the procurement of fixed assets were charged under consumables. 

“A weed eater was purchased but was charged under the Account for Photocopiers. Some electricity bills were charged under the Telephone output. The Ministry Water bill for March 2009 for Vaimea was wrongly charged under Internet and email account number 746201. This was an inadvertent error on Ministry of Finance’s part,” stated the Audit Report.

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