Govt agencies urged to follow rules

National, Normal

The National – Wednesday, June 29, 2011

NATIONAL government departments are required to comply with requirements, procedures and guidelines as stipulated in the Public Finance Management Act of 1995, a senior official said.
“Over the years, there has been a lack of compliance to the laid down rules and regulations,” acting Deputy Auditor-General Puva Keako said.
Keako said this had resulted in issues of non-compliance reported in the auditor general’s annual reports to the parliament.
Speaking during a public sector seminar on compliance issues, good governance and expenditure in the public sector at Port Moresby’s National Research Institute last Thursday, Keako raised some of the issues reported in 2007 Part 1 of the auditor’s report to parliament.
He said a number of government agencies were failing to ensure that collections and payments from trust money “are managed in accordance with the requirements in the trust instrument”.
It was revealed that monthly bank reconciliations wave not produced on a timely basis by some of the government departments and there even were significant un-reconciled items carried over a long period.
Keako said an agency had their last bank reconciliation completed in 2003 while in five other agencies the difference between the bank balances and cash book exceeded K124 million.
“Of that amount the un-presented cheques comprised K66 million and stale cheques were more than K35 million.
“The amount of cancelled cheques was later presented at the bank,” he said.
Keako said there was an extremely high rate of non-compliance with procurements and payment procedures.
He said the majority of the departments or agencies did not maintain the quotations register.
“Paid vouchers were not examined for completeness, accuracy and certified prior to processing payments,” he said.
He said expenditures were approved by section 32 officers beyond their authorised limits.
“Missing paid vouchers or supporting documents worth K10 million were related to six agencies,” Keako said.