Govt. cuts out corporate credit cards
The Government is moving to phase out corporate credit cards for officials paying for expenses on business trips following concerns raised by the Controller and Auditor General.
This was confirmed by the Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Finance, Leasiosiofaasisina Oscar Malielegaoi.
The C.E.O. was responding to questions over concerns raised by the Controller and Auditor General, Fuimaono Camillo Afele.
The Auditor’s concerns are outlined in the Audit for the Samoa Government’s Finances for Fiscal Year 2018-2019.
According to the Audit Report, the Ministry of Finance does not have a formal policy to govern the use of credit cards.
“As raised last year, there is still no formal policy to govern the use of credit cards by Government Officials.”
Leasiosio told the Samoa Observer the Government is moving to change this.
“A new policy is now being developed to phase out corporate credit cards," he said.
"All Government Officials, including Ministers are expected to use their own personal accounts to pay their expenses when travelling overseas for official meetings.
“We now have online platforms provided by the four commercial banks (Debit Visa Cards and Master Cards) and officials are encouraged to apply/obtain personal Visa Cards/Master Cards for all online payments."
Another issue exposed by the Auditor are unrepresented and unclaimed Government cheques.
“Unpresented cheques amount of $8.9 Million Tala was noted on the 30th June 2018. Some of these cheques dated back to 2015. The Ministry of Finance will review and look into reasons why this has occurred,” the Audit report reads.
An unpresented cheque, is a written cheque that has not yet been cleared by the bank.
In response, Leasiosio assured that the cheques are secured. He said the unpresented cheques are securely locked in their premises.
“Our Accounts Team has been proactive in reaching out to the suppliers to uplift their cheques," he said.
“We are now working with the Central Bank in developing and transitioning to an automated transfer payment system where payments/funds are transferred to customers/suppliers using a Real-Time settlement platform to address the issue of unrepresented cheques.”