OC’s internet, phone bill racks up K750,000


The Ombudsman Commission experienced a breakdown in control of usage of internet and telephones in 2015 which racked up a bill of more than K750,000, according to the Auditor-General’s Report for 2016.
Auditor-General Philip Nauga said utilities’ expenses incurred and paid for in 2015 totalled K1,046,017, most of which was spent on telephone and internet bills.
“The utilities expense increased by 50 per cent compared to the amount expended for 2014,” he said.
“I also noted that K758,557, constituting 73 per cent of the total amount disclosed as utilities expenses, was related to internet usage and toll-free (voice) calls. Upon my review, I noted that the accounting system with the private automatic branch exchange (PABX) was not installed to monitor calls, resulting in increased toll-free (voice) calls in 2015.
“Internet usage per month from Telikom PNG Ltd was restricted to 50 gigabytes for the commission as a whole.
“However, I noted that one officer used 73 gigabytes during the month of July 2015, which is 147 per cent more than the 50 gigabyte allocation.
“Due to the above observations, I was unable to place reliance on the effectiveness on controls surrounding the usage of internet and telephone. I brought this to the attention of the commission and recommended for effective controls in the area of telephone and internet usage.
“The commission acknowledged and accepted my recommendation.”
Nauga also found:

  • Ombudsman operating account bank reconciliations were not prepared and certified on a timely basis;
  • There was lack of proper maintenance and update of the fixed assets register;
  • The commission built eight new houses and acquired a duplex from National Housing Corporation, but continued to pay housing allowances to staff in what could be seen as double-dipping;
  • The office vehicle fleet needed to be better managed;
  • There was no proper human resource and payroll procedural manual; and
  • An officer’s employment contract expired on Jan 26, 2014, but he continued working for more than two years.