Power and phone bills highlighted

Overspending by the Ministry of Health on electricity and phone bills has come under the scrutiny of the Audit Office.

Reviewing the financial year 2011-2012, the Audit Report noted that the Ministry’s electricity budget of $244,044.38 remained outstanding from previous financial year with the new building fully air conditioned.

The report also noted the overspending of the telephone budget by $28,280.94 with the bill inclusive of a telephone line that connected the Ministry to the Finance One System, which cost $2600 a month.

“An amount of $60,000 was wrongly charged and reflected on the Ministry’s monthly bill, which belongs to the National Health Services and some sampled invoices of internet usage were above the monthly plan of $3,695 per month,” stated the Audit Report. Furthermore, Audit Office could not locate the cash books for the months of July, January and April of that financial period. 

“Cash collections against the postings on Finance One, as well as cash that was banked, could not be verified. Cash books are now in place and in order. Copies of these missing journals have also been sought from the Ministry of Finance.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Debtors from financial years 2009, 2010 and 2011 were still outstanding in the current Accounts Receivable Ledger from Finance One. This increases the risk of irrecoverable debtors and debtors write off. The Ministry continues to manage systems for continuous improvement in this area given minimal staff,” stated the Audit Report. In relation to the staffing issues, the Audit Report noted that the attendance book for health sector coordination resourcing and Monitoring was not provided to the audit. 

“The audit could not verify and reconcile the employees leave cards and entitlements. The division Health Sector Coordination Resourcing and Monitoring has been duly advised." 

“Corporate Services has also cautioned the respective A.C.E.O.s to ensure that their assigned staffs responsible for their attendance books are managed properly,” added the Audit Report. 

At the time under review, the Auditors found that the A.C.E.O. for the Nursery and Midwifery Division within the Ministry of Health did not sign the staff attendance book. 

“Her leave entitlements could not be verified against the attendance book. The A.C.E.O. concerned was notified of this issue even before the Audit. The New A.C.E.O. for the Nursing and Midwifery Division now signs in the Attendance book."

“The previous A.C.E.O. stated that it was not in her contract to sign in and out before.” Also Auditors found there was no register to record inventories and consumable supplies. 

“All the divisions have been asked to have registers in place for their consumables. This has been secondary to processing payment given the number of staff in accounts unit,” stated the Audit Report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Bg pattern light

UPGRADE TO PREMIUM

Subscribe to Samoa Observer Online

Enjoy access to over a thousand articles per month, on any device as well as feature-length investigative articles.

Ready to signup?