Auditors uncovered discrepancies at Samoa Post

Auditors have uncovered the misappropriation of funds for personal use, misplaced receipts and delayed banking and payment vouchers made for ministerial donations, end of year dinner as well as gifts at the Samoa Post. 

This was revealed by the Samoa Audit Office Audit report for the financial year 2018-2019 which was sanctioned by the Controller and Auditor General, Fuimaono Camillo Afele.

The auditors from the Samoa Audit Office discovered a number for discrepancies when they went through the public entity's accounts for that period. 

“Audit was able to confirm a case of misappropriating funds for personal use by a staff member in Savai'i," stated the audit report. 

"Audit recommends that a review of the banking procedure be conducted (Savai'i branches because of its remote location) for improvement to prevent and discourage such incidence from happening again.” 

In response to the findings of the auditors, the Post Office management agreed and noted they will work on improving their policies.

According to the report, misplaced receipts were the reason for variances found in the voucher for petty cash reimbursement.

The auditors advised Samoa Post Management to be more diligent with their record keeping efforts. 

“It was highlighted during our review of payment vouchers that were made for the purposes ministerial donations, end of year dinner and gifts. This is in contrary to FK (13)31. 

"Audit recommends that such payments be reviewed in compliance with policies in place,” stated the audit report, which also acknowledged that the Samoa Post management had agreed to work on improving their management of funds. 

Furthermore, the auditors found that some payment vouchers do not have complete supporting documents to substantiate amounts paid. The report said Samoa Post management explained that some payments do not have receipts as in the case of ministerial donations. 

“Audit found that there was delayed banking, as per agreed expectations for daily or weekly takings depending on location in Upolu or Savaii." 

The Samoa Post comes under the portfolio of the Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Afamasaga Rico Tupa'i.

Attempts to get comments from the Samoa Post Office Chief Executive Officer, Tupa'i Tupe Nun Yan were unsuccessful as messages left since Wednesday for this newspaper's calls to be returned were not returned.

Below is the excerpt of the Audit for the Samoa Posts Authority. 

3.28 Samoa Post Limited Interim Audit for the period 1 July 2018 – 31 January 2019 

1. Misplaced receipts were the reason for variances found in the voucher for petty cash reimbursement. Management is advised to be more diligent with their record keeping efforts. Management will work on improving. 

2. It was highlighted during our review of payment vouchers that were made for the purposes ministerial donations, end of year dinner and gifts. This is in contrary to FK (13)31. Audit recommends that such payments be reviewed in compliance with policies in place. Management agrees will work on improving their management of funds. 

3. We noted some payment vouchers do not have complete supporting documents to substantiate amounts paid. Management will continue to improve and explained that some payments do not have receipts as in the case of ministerial donations. 

4. Audit found that there was delayed banking, as per agreed expectations for daily or weekly takings depending on location in Upolu or Savaii. Management also noted that there was a case of misappropriation for one of the locations in Savaii. Management will work on improving their practices. 

5. Audit was able to confirm a case of misappropriating funds for personal use by a staff member in Savaii. Audit recommends that a review of the banking procedure be conducted (Savaii branches because of its remote location) for improvement to prevent and discourage such incidence from happening again. Management agrees and will work on improving, and audit will follow up. 

6. Samoa Post works in partnership with other Corporations such as NPF and Bluesky, however these Contracts have not been reviewed and have since been expired. Audit recommends review and update of contracts and management agrees. 

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