Staff of PNG Immigration required to acquit travels

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Staff of the PNG Immigration and Citizenship Service Authority (ICSA) are now required to acquit for all travels and comply with travel acquittal processes, Chief Migration Officer Solomon Kantha says.
He said that after the Auditor-General’s Report for 2016, published in The National last week, revealed that the authority racked up travel and subsistence expenses of more than K3.5 million in 2015 of which only K100,000 was acquitted for.
Auditor-General Philip Nauga said certain senior officers of the authority, who were receiving motor vehicle allowances, were “double dipping” by being provided with office vehicles for 24-hour usage.
Kantha said the Auditor-General’s Report for 2016 was based on 2015, which was before he took office as CMO, on Jan 2017.
He said he had implemented several changes since taking up the position.
“For the first time a reconciliation of the government accounting system was done dating back to the inception of authority in 2011, “Kantha said.
“We now have a proper and reconciled records of all expenses and transactions from our trust and operating accounts.
“All vehicle allowances were ceased for staff using office vehicles.
“Fuel vouchers were cut.
“All staff were required to acquit for all travels and comply with travel acquittal processes.
“I engaged Ernst and Young, a reputable accounting firm, in September to review and help prepare our 2016 financial report.
“Ernst and Young will also work on a financial handbook and assist establish a financial control system for ICSA to comply with provisions of the Financial Management Manual and Public Finance Management Act.
“There have been significant improvements made to our financial processes since I took office.
“Those issues highlighted by the auditor-general have been effectively addressed, with other changes to happen in the next few months following completion of the work done by Ernst and Young.”